Microsoft Points are out on Windows 8, here to stay on Xbox 360

xbox live points

It’s always surprising when a massive corporation decides to introduce consumer friendly policies. Obviously Sony wants people to buy more PS Vitas, but it’s still impressive that it’s just giving away Vita versions of games like Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time with PS3 versions that are going to be sold for $60 regardless. On Monday, it appeared that Microsoft would finally reconsider some of the more byzantine and vicious monetization policies in its entertainment business. It would still charge people to play together online through Xbox Live, but it would finally stop using Microsoft Points, its virtual currency, for downloadable purchases. The reasoning was sound: The Windows 8 platform would unify all Microsofts platforms—PC, Windows Phone, and the still unannounced Xbox 720—and digital shopping transparency would speed adoption of the platform.

Turns out that Microsoft won’t be engaging in any consumer friendly activity after all, as the company confirmed on Wednesday that it was not just keeping Microsoft Points, it would further confuse its audience by using real money prices on other platforms.

“Microsoft Points continue to be the currency for purchasing content for the Xbox 360 console,” a Microsoft spokesman told The Verge. When it releases on Oct. 26, though, Windows 8 will let users purchase goods, even through Xbox Live, using local currency or Microsoft points. “Current Xbox Live customers may also make a purchase using points.”

Any customers looking for parity between their Xbox Music and Xbox Video accounts between their Xbox 360 in the living room and, for example, a Windows 8 laptop taken on the road will be out of luck.

Microsoft’s confirmation that Microsoft Points are here to stay on the Xbox 360 does not mean that its policy won’t change when the next console arrives. The Xbox 720, sometimes called Durango, will run on the Windows 8 operating system according to Microsoft’s Brian Hall, so it’s reasonable to expect that by the time it releases in 2013/2014, Microsoft will finally stop charging consumers for virtual currency packs that leave them with credit they can’t spend.

The time for Microsoft to begin changing its policies is now though. If Windows 8 is going to be successful as a core for the company’s growing entertainment businesses, it needs parity across all platforms. Restricting options on the Xbox 360, and continuing to charge for services like online play as part of Xbox Gold, is only going to alienate consumers increasingly accustomed to free play and real money pricing on platforms like iOS.

Gaming

Xbox's app lets you access your console while away from home. Here's how

Microsoft's Xbox allows you to access your profile information and launch media content directly from your mobile device. Check out our quick guide on how to connect your smartphone to an Xbox One.
Gaming

These are the must-have games that every Xbox One owner needs

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From Cuphead to Halo 5, the best Xbox One games offer something for players of every type.
Computing

The HoloLens 2 will be announced at MWC. Here's what we know about it so far

The HoloLens 2 is ripe for an announcement. Here's what Microsoft has revealed so far, what's likely in store for the next generation HoloLens, and everything that we know about this mixed reality headset.
Gaming

How do the revised Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles stack up?

Microsoft's new Xbox One S and Sony's PlayStation 4 "Slim" have bucked the generational gaming console trend. But which of these stopgap systems is worth spending your paycheck on?
Photography

What’s the difference between Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic?

Lightroom CC has evolved into a capable photo editor, but is it enough to supplant Lightroom Classic? We took each program for a test drive to compare the two versions and see which is faster, more powerful, and better organized.
Computing

Reluctant to give your email address away? Here's how to make a disposable one

Want to sign up for a service without the risk of flooding your inbox with copious amounts of spam and unwanted email? You might want to consider using disposable email addresses via one of these handy services.
Mobile

Need speed? Qualcomm unveils the Snapdragon X55, the world’s fastest 5G modem

Qualcomm is preparing for an even faster future: The silicon giant just unveiled a second generation 5G modem for smartphones, promising blistering download speeds as high as 7Gbps.
Computing

Chrome is a fantastic browser, but is is still the best among new competitors?

Choosing a web browser for surfing the web can be tough with all the great options available. Here we pit the latest versions of Chrome, Opera, Firefox, Edge, and Vivaldi against one another to find the best browsers for most users.
Computing

Don't use streaming apps? Try the best free media players for your local music

Rather than using music-streaming apps, you may want something for playing your local music. Good news! There are some good alternatives. These are the best media players you can download for free on Windows.
Mobile

Barbie’s Corvette ain’t got nothing on Sphero’s fully programmable robot car

Sphero is known for devices like the Sphero Bolt and BB-8 Star Wars toy, but now the company is back with another addition to its lineup -- the Sphero RVR. The RVR is a fully programmable robot car that can be expanding with different…
Photography

Luminar’s libraries gain speed, drop need for you to manually import images

Luminar 3 just got a performance boost. Skylum Luminar 3.0.2 has improved speed over December's update, which added the long-promised libraries feature giving editors a Lightroom alternative.
Computing

Keep your portable computer safe and shiny with the best laptop bags for 2019

Choosing the right laptop bag is no easy feat -- after all, no one likes to second-guess themselves. Here are some of the best laptop bags on the market, from backpacks to sleeves, so you can get it right the first time around.
Computing

Like to be brand loyal? These tech titans make some of our favorite laptops

If you want to buy your next laptop based around a specific brand, it helps to know which the best brands of laptops are. This list will give you a good grounding in the most reliable, quality laptop manufacturers today.
Computing

Protecting your PDF with a password isn't difficult. Just follow these steps

If you need to learn how to password protect a PDF, you have come to the right place. This guide will walk you through the process of protecting your documents step-by-step, whether you're running a MacOS or Windows machine.