Some users are now seeing Bitcoin as a method of payment to buy digital content with Microsoft.
We are in front of a new Microsoft that it’s changing its course since Steve Ballmer’s departure and Satya Nadella became the new CEO. The company is now more open-source and bringing its applications and services to rival platforms, like in the case of Office, and just doing things differently.
Today users located in the United States are noticing that Microsoft is accepting Bitcoin, the new questionable digital currency, as a method of payment to add credit to their Microsoft Account.
Once the transaction is complete, users can spend their credits to purchase games, music, movies, and apps in the Windows, Windows Phone, and Xbox Store. Interesting enough, the credits purchased with Bitcoin cannot be used to pay for services like Office 365.
Microsoft is using BitPay to process Bitcoin transactions and any credit added using Bitcoin cannot be refunded. It’s unclear if Microsoft is just experimenting with the new form of payment and if there are any plans to expand to worldwide in a near future.
On a really unexpected move of Microsoft just trying to include another option for consumers to purchase digital content, the company also becomes one of the first big technology companies to adopt Bitcoin.
Update: Microsoft explains the reason going Bitcon: “The use of digital currencies such as bitcoin, while not yet mainstream, is growing beyond the early enthusiasts. We expect this growth to continue and allowing people to use bitcoin to purchase our products and services now allows us to be at the front edge of that trend.”
The company also details how the new option works. To add money to your Microsoft account, you first need to select the amount of money to add. The BitPay calculates the equivalent in bitcoin, which then is displayed to you, along with a BitPay Bitcoin address and payment instructions. Then you simply pay using your bitcoin wallet to complete the transaction.
Also Microsoft warns that there are some limitations. For example, you can only exchange up to $1,000 (or equivalent in your country currency) per day, and you cannot exchange more than $5,000 on additional Microsoft accounts you may own.