updated 08:20 pm EST, Mon January 23, 2012
Microsoft Points may be droped by end 2012
A potentially impactful rumor on Monday claimed that Microsoft will drop its Microsoft Points system. As of the end of 2012, the Windows Phone, Xbox Live, and Zune Marketplace stores would all rely on real currency, Inside Mobile Apps had heard. Developers being published by Microsoft were reportedly being told to prepare any downloadable extras to adapt to the change.
Like most any other app or media store, the new approach would simply adapt to a local country's currency system.
Microsoft didn't confirm or deny the rumor, saying only that it didn't comment on rumors.
The switch, if real, would address several complaints about Microsoft's online store approach. Its point system both requires that customers buy large blocks of points and often leads to large numbers of unused points that can discourage users from going back if they know they need to spend significantly more money to complete a much smaller purchase. Very small apps are also impractical and have discouraged cheap apps and certain kinds of downloadable content.
Although some of Microsoft's system already uses real money, it has been at a disadvantage to the more granular iOS and Android stores.