Before the end of this year, Microsoft is expected to put an end to its proprietary virtual currency system called Microsoft Points.Rumor has it that the change will affect all developers with applications for the Windows Phone platform, as well as for the Zune marketplace and Xbox Live.
Nothing has been officially confirmed on the matter for the time being, but Inside Mobile Apps claims that a source “with knowledge of the company’s decision” has pointed in this direction.
By the end of the current year, all of the transactions usually made using the Microsoft Points will be made with real money. Moreover, the news site claims that they will be based on the region set on the purchasing account.
As soon as the change will take place, the Windows Phone Marketplace will get in line with the practices in place in the App Store and the Android Market.
Microsoft is said to plan on making the move later in 2012 to offer developers the possibility to align with the change.
Developers who build applications for the Windows Phone operating system are encouraged to plan their upcoming downloadable content (DLC) and in-app purchases in line with the new policy.
If there are customers who have existing Microsoft Points balances, they will have them converted to their local currency as soon as the switch is made.
For those out of the loop, we should note that Microsoft Points are currently used for the purchase of games and media content on Xbox Live, the Zune Marketplace, the PC and Windows Phone.
However, the system is not being used universally. For example, games in Xbox Live are listed in $, but users can make the purchase with points. The same happens in the Windows Phone Marketplace.
With cash purchases already available in Xbox Live, it does not come too much of a surprise that Microsoft decided to make the move to a single cash-based payment system. It would also eliminate confusion when it comes to converting points to $ and the other way around.
However, it appears that Microsoft would not comment on these rumors, which means that no official details on the change have emerged at the moment.