While we will all agree that Microsoft has absolutely given a lot to the world of digital … well … everything, there is also an equal understanding that Microsoft is a powerful corporate world. Being a massive business is fun when you can make cool gadgets like they have with the Microsoft Zune, but it begins to make people angry in certain circumstances, one being when purchasers feel a little taken advantage of. While this subject is debatable to the nth degree, there is no doubt that purchasing files from the Zune Marketplace with "Microsoft Points" has created a min-firestorm with fans of digital music. Here is a brief summary of that argument:
First off, understand that what "Microsoft Points" are is basically a fake form of currency that is only good on a few Microsoft related websites. Remember "Geoffrey Bucks" when you were going to Toys-R-Us as a kid? That is what this is. You purchase these points by placing in your credit card number to exchange your dollars into points. While this is annoying to some, it will be great for those looking to feed their love of both the Zune and the Xbox 360 as your "Microsoft Points" will be available for use with both of the gadgets. Now that you have a general idea of what the concept of "Microsoft Points" is, here is the argument for and against the fake currency.
FOR: It makes the process of purchasing songs online easier for those looking to budget their money in a way where they have a set number of songs they can purchase every month. Step into the Zune Marketplace or the Xbox 360 Marketplace and you can deposit a certain amount of money every month to keep all of your technology current. This allows you to budget better than going to Best Buy with a credit card or whatever you may be doing now. Also, if you have both the Xbox 360 and the Zune and get rid of one for whatever reason you can still use leftover points on the other without losing the money altogether.
AGAINST: This argument bought to be easy to see for those that are staunch anti-Microsoft people for life. Once you purchase the points the money is in "Microsoft Points" for life, meaning you better use them. Here is the problem with that, the packages that Microsoft offers come to roughly 80 points for every $ 1 you spend. A song costs 79 points, meaning that the price is roughly $ .99 per song, but what happens to those lost points? This is one way that the pricing system seems a little uneven when it comes to the side of the consumer.
While there is obviously no right answer to this service it is simply a bit confusing when you think about how easy it would be to just put a price on the service in, you know, US dollars? Fact is that they do not do this and it is up to the consumer to decide if Microsoft Points in the Zune Marketplace are worth it at all?