Microsoft now accepts bitcoin payments for video games, apps, music, and movies on Xbox consoles and Windows devices—another sign that the company, often perceived as slow to adapt, is embracing the future under CEO Satya Nadella.
The bitcoin option was rolled out quietly—Microsoft made no official announcement. In fact, the news broke in Reddit’s bitcoin subreddit, and was met by general excitement. Said Reddit user greencoinman, “Oh my goddddddddddddddddddddd.”
There are a few caveats, however. It’s only available in the US, for starters. Bitcoin can only be added to a Microsoft account to purchase digital goods like games and apps; you can’t buy Microsoft products like Office with bitcoin. And there are no refunds, so make sure you intend to keep your purchase before clicking ‘buy.’
This is one area where Microsoft seems to be out ahead of competitors. Apple and Google have yet to fully integrate the cryptocurrency, and you likely won’t be seeing Amazon using it any time soon. Many think that mobile payment systems—Apple Pay in particular—are a threat to bitcoin.
With recently installed CEO Satya Nadella’s new style of leadership, Microsoft has shown that it’s willing to get on board with some tech industry trends. Microsoft is the world’s largest company after Apple and Exxon Mobil. But Apple and Google are seen as industry innovators, while Microsoft is more the lumbering hulk that falls behind.
Whatever Microsoft gains from the move, Bitcoin and its investors are sure to gain more in prestige and value. Bitcoin prices are plummeting and currency holders aren’t actually using them.