Rumor Mill: Microsoft ditching Points currency for multi-platform gift card system

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Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is eliminating its Points virtual currency system in favor of a new gift card system spanning platforms including Windows Phone, Windows and Xbox.

Available across digital services including Xbox Live Marketplace, Games for Windows Marketplace and Windows Live Gallery, Microsoft Points allow users to purchase games and content without a credit card. Points are purchased online with a credit card or with Microsoft Points Cards sold at retail locations.

Citing sources familiar with Microsoft's plans, The Verge reports Microsoft will replace Points with new gift card vouchers similar to those sold in conjunction with Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iTunes digital storefront. The vouchers will allow consumers to purchase true currency earmarked for downloading premium content across various Microsoft marketplaces including the Windows Phone Store, which offers applications and games optimized for smartphones running the company's Windows Phone mobile operating system. Microsoft will also continue to support traditional cash and credit/debit card transactions.

Sources add Microsoft could announce the new gift card system as soon as next month's E3 gaming conference, with a commercial launch planned for later this year, timed to coincide with the rollout of its next-generation Xbox console. Microsoft did not respond to a request for comment.

Windows Phone Store stocks more than 145,000 mobile apps and games and is now available in close to 200 countries and 50 languages.

For more:
- read this Verge article

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