Zune suddenly takes real money in addition to MS points

What’s that you say? An online marketplace has realized that ridiculous alternative currencies are not, in fact, the way to consumers’ hearts? And they’ve allowed for normal credit card transactions? Impossible! Yet Zune has done it. In a way. Well, Bing has, actually.

Confused? You should be. This memo from Microsoft should clear everything up for you.

Microsoft has not eliminated the use of Microsoft Points with the announcement of Zune music on Bing and the addition of the new Zune.net MP3 store. Customers who choose to purchase music through Bing or the Zune.net MP3 store can use either a credit card or Microsoft Points. Customers who purchase music or videos through the Zune Marketplace will need to use Microsoft Points. Zune Pass subscribers can also download music to keep by redeeming their credits—through the Zune Marketplace or the Zune.net MP3 store.

So. You’ll be able to pay with a card if you buy Zune tracks via Bing, but not if you buy them via Zune. You’ll still need points to do that. So really, I was lying in that first paragraph, and in the headline. But they made me lie, with their lies. Take cards or don’t, Microsoft! What the hell?

I always think of the Penny Arcade comic above whenever I see this stuff. These point systems just baffle me. I’d do it if there were cool ways for me to, say, earn points in games by doing tricks or something — but if every point is just equivalent to a dime or something? No thanks.

[via Ars Technica]