By Jonathan Charles | Oct 08, 2012 10:16 AM EDT
Microsoft Points have been commonplace across the company's service to buy products, notably introduced with Xbox Live. Recently, The Verge reported that the Points are not a compulsory means to purchase products in Windows 8 as the platform's launch approaches.
"Microsoft has started to remove its Points payments system as the default way to pay for music downloads and movie rentals or purchases in Windows 8. The recent change affects the way Windows 8 users will pay for digital content in the operating system," reported The Verge.
Microsoft Points were compulsory in the platform's beta and still are on Xbox Live. This system means that users have to buy most games with Points, making multiple payments to get the required amount. However, Games on Demand releases can be bought with credit and debit cards. Xbox.com also allows users to use cards, so a degree of inconsistency seems to be prevalent throughout Microsoft's systems.
The Verge also tested Windows 8 release to manufacturing build, where the change is in effect, and averred that music and videos can be purchased or rented in the Xbox Video store. Microsoft Points are usable but the store defaults to credit cards. Whether PayPal can be used, like on Xbox Live, is yet to be confirmed.
"A welcome change from the confusion of having to convert Microsoft Points to currency in order to assess the true cost of a rental or purchase," The Verge noted on the changes to Windows 8. Purchases on Xbox Live are typically listed for 800 Microsoft Points ($10) or 1200 Points ($15).
The functionality contrasts with PlayStation Network that allowed card usage immediately. Whether Wii U will follow Sony's or Microsoft's approach is not confirmed. Currently, on Wii, users pay with points. However, points can create the problem of having to look for cards in stores or having leftover points if buying digitally.
The current dashboard beta, in use by Mobilenapps.com, is still using Microsoft Points. Whether its official release will bring in real-world current system wide remains to be seen. Microsoft may also release an update post-dashboard update to bring the feature, though the company is remaining quiet on the whether that will happen.
Windows 8 releases on Oct. 26 worldwide. Microsoft is holding an event Oct. 25 to "celebrate" Windows 8, and is expected to launch the Surface at midnight.
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