Microsoft the computing giant has recently announced that bitcoin will be one of the payment options for buying digital content from Microsoft. Their US based customers will have bitcoin to add money to their wallets to buy digital content on games, videos and apps for Windows, Windows phones and Xbox platforms. This step of Microsoft comes as a surprise as they become the first tech company to implement bitcoin completely as compared to Apple and Google who are their major rivals.
Microsoft had added the bitcoin currency converter to their Bing Search Engine earlier. After a few months of that they announced that all their digital content can be bought by digital currency. Although you can buy Microsoft’s digital content through this currency but you cannot buy any of the softwares like Office 365.
This digital currency mode of payment will be available only for the US residents as of now. Microsoft’s did not disclose in information on future plans of launching the same for other countries. There is a cap of $1000 for adding Bitcoins in a day to Microsoft. This can go only upto $5000 for a registered individual customer. Once added the Bitcoins, they cannot be refunded, although it is said that they can contact the company in case of any errors.
To transfer bitcoins, one has to select the amount to be added to their Microsoft account. BitPay, the integrator, will calculate the equivalent bitcoin, bitcoin address and payment instructions and deliver the same to Microsoft. The amount displayed is then paid from the bitcoin wallet and the transaction is completed. BitPay as of today is used by 50,000 business entities across the world. The whole transaction needs to be completed within 15 minutes else the transaction will expire. The same can be done by scanning QR code from a smartphone and the mobile wallet app.
With this integration Microsoft plans to increase the market cap by $36 billion and increase in their annual revenue of $86 billion by 2014. Early last year Dell in association with Coinbase announced that they will accept BitCoin payments. Overstock also has started accepting BitCoin payments.
While the virtual currency can be used to put funds into Microsoft accounts, it can’t be used to pay directly for other Microsoft products and services other than the content we highlighted above at this time. However, this exchange provides an option to keep up with the changing needs of customers who are using micropayments and other banking alternatives.
While Bitcoin is not yet a payment option for non-digital Microsoft products and services, Microsoft said its acceptance of Bitcoin for digital products puts it at the “front edge” of the adoption trend. With the announcement, Microsoft becomes the latest tech player to have jumped into the bitcoin bandwagon. Microsoft’s combination takes after a moderate yet remarkable movement of occasions that recommended it would possibly look to grasp bitcoin.