While everybody else was looking at the rollout of Windows 10 Mobile or Surface Phone, Microsoft went stealthy dropping its bitcoin payment option in Windows Store for devices using Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile. That means you can no longer purchase anything in Windows Store using bitcoins. But, to the relief of bitcoin users, they can still use their existing bitcoin balance, if any. The bad news is, it?s non-refundable, so they?ll have to use up all that remains in their bitcoin credit.
An FAQ note in an official Microsoft site confirmed the report. Here?s the official announcement:
?You can no longer redeem Bitcoin into your Microsoft account. Existing balances in your account will still be available for purchases from Microsoft Store, but can’t be refunded.?
Microsoft hasn?t released an official statement yet for the drop, but it?s safe to assume not that many use bitcoin to pay. It is unlikely for a company to cut off a channel that?s giving it large sums of cash after all.
In 2014, Microsoft was lauded for adding bitcoin payment options by partnering with Bitpay. The company said that it?s a decision of ?giving people options and helping them do more on their devices and in the cloud.?
The Windows Store drop is a big blow to the bitcoin community as it struggles to make bitcoin more mainstream. Although in actual volume, Microsoft?s decision will have little impact on bitcoin advocates (assuming only a few Windows Store customers use bitcoin); however, that a major brand walked away from bitcoin is more telling.
Whether bitcoin payment reaches the level of PayPal or, in fact, mainstream credit gateways remains to be seen. One thing is sure though, bitcoin users will find the Windows Store closed for them, for good.