The global acceptance of Bitcoin and the technological ecosystem surrounding it continues to advance, with today’s announcement by Microsoft being one of the most poignant examples.
Customers can now use Bitcoin to add money to their Microsoft accounts, in order to use it as a payment option to buy apps, games, and other digital content from Windows, Windows Phone, Xbox Games, Xbox Music, or Xbox Video stores.
The decision by Microsoft, one of the world’s largest software companies, to accept Bitcoin represents a milestone in the global shift toward mainstream acceptance of virtual currencies, and is the largest company to date to begin offering payment for its services by using Bitcoin.
To add money to a specific Microsoft account with Bitcoin, the procedure is very simple as follows:
Sign in to Microsoft account – Billing with your Microsoft account
Select Payment options > Microsoft account > redeem bitcoin
Select the amount you want to add, then click Next
Review the amount of Bitcoin needed and use your digital wallet to complete the transaction within 15 minutes:
On your computer – select Pay with Bitcoin and then pay from your Bitcoin wallet on the same device.
On your smartphone – scan the QR code displayed on the page to pay from your mobile wallet app.
If your wallet is on another device, you can copy the receiving address and BTC amount to the wallet on your device or the Web and then make your purchase.
Some things to keep in mind:
Most Bitcoin transactions should process immediately. If it doesn’t, Microsoft advises to wait up to two hours for the transaction to complete before contacting support.
Money added to a Microsoft account using Bitcoin cannot be refunded, so therefore Microsoft states that a prudent practice would be to make sure to review the transaction before paying with a digital wallet.
Customers can only use Bitcoin to add money to their Microsoft account and then purchase digital goods at select Microsoft online stores. It is not possible to use Bitcoin to purchase Microsoft products and services directly at this time, and support for adding money to a Microsoft account with Bitcoin is currently limited to the United States.
Rival computer software firm Apple Computer Corporation has been pioneering Bitcoin acceptance for the purposes of purchasing apps from its Appstore over recent months. The company launched Bitcoin payment facilities almost a year ago, before suspending it and and reinstating it in summer 2014 due to popular demand.
For the official announcement from Microsoft, click here.