Microsoft has joined the group of company's that accept the online currency Bitcoin - adding their substantial weight to the young currency's legitimacy. Microsoft is far from the first, following in the tracks of companies such as Paypal, Warner Bros Records, and Overstock, but Microsoft is the largest to embrace the online coin. Like the others there, it will be using BitPay to process the Bitcoin payments.
That's not to say though that Microsoft is jumping in head first - they are dipping their toes in too begin with. Microsoft is starting with only accepting them for online, digital goods in a bit of a circular method. You won't be buying services or physical copy's but phone apps or XBox Live games are good to go. It is also only currently available to those in the United States, probably while they see what the demand is and work out the kinks in the system.
To pay with Bitcoins you are going to have to do a bit of work though. It won't be a simple click pay with Bitcoin and you're good to go. Instead, what you will have to do is go to Microsoft Account billing, payment options, Microsoft account, and then hit redeem Bitcoin. Once there you type in how much you want to redeem, and it will add the amount to your Microsoft account, which you can then use to go buy the digital goodies we were talking about - XBox games or Phone Apps. Once at those places with Bitcoins in your Microsoft wallet you can pay with them in the shops that allow it for products that accept it.
There are a couple other caveats to note with Microsoft's Bitcoin addition, for those in the United States wanting to use it. The first is that there is no refund option with the Bitcoin transfers, meaning that once you put it in, its spent, no take backs. Another is that it can take up to two hours if there are issues, though most should be instantaneous.
What do you think of Microsoft adding Bitcoin support? Do you think that Bitcoin and other online currency's are the way of the future? What company do you think will be the next to add support for Bitcoin?