Microsoft is in the process of discontinuing its Points virtual currency system, reports Inside Mobile Apps, citing a single source. The change -- which would affect developers for Windows Phone, the Zune marketplace and Xbox Live -- is expected to be completed before the end of the year, at which point consumers will need “real money” to purchase Windows Phone content.
“The move puts the Windows Phone Marketplace in line with the purchasing practices used in the App Store and the Android Market,” according to Inside Mobile Apps. While Microsoft would not comment on the move, mobile developers that have publishing agreements with the software giant are reportedly being warned to plan their upcoming downloadable content and in-app purchases in accordance with the change. According to Inside Mobile Apps, customers with existing Microsoft Points balances will have them converted into their local currency once the transition occurs.
Microsoft Points are currently used to purchase games and media content on Xbox Live, the Zune Marketplace, the PC and Windows Phone. It makes sense for Microsoft to move to a single cash-based payment system, suggests Inside Mobile Apps, because of other standard app market practices, as well as ongoing criticism of the system.