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Microsoft to cash in chips on virtual currency

Points break

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Microsoft will call time on its virtual currency, Microsoft Points, with a switch to real money on the cards later this year, it has been claimed.

Future transactions across the Windows Phone, Zune and Xbox Live platforms will be based on the currencies of the region in which the user has pegged their account to, an anonymous mole says, according to InsideMobile reports.

This would see the end of the Points format and align the system with purchasing protocol used on rival platforms, including the iTunes App Store and the Android Market.

Mobile developers with connections to the company have apparently been warned to plan for the change, so upcoming downloadable content and in-app purchases can be priced accordingly.

Users with remaining MS points after the switchover will find them converted into their local currency.

Microsoft has pondered such a move in the past - in 2010, in some regions it began listing real-world prices alongside Points prices to help buyers understand how much they were spending.

The use of Points exclusively has even resulted in legal action being brought against Microsoft.

We'll let you know when official word surfaces. The prospect seems a sensible one, though and all signs point to... for Points to go. ®

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