NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Microsoft's (MSFT) decision to accept bitcoins for certain purchases from its online store may be a feather in the cap for the digital currency, but while positive the move does not signal a general acceptance of this new-fangled money.
In a blog post Microsoft said bitcoins will be accepted through the BitPay currency exchange for purchases of Windows Store, or in stores that house Xbox Games, Xbox Music or Xbox Video. With the decision Microsoft joins Dell, Overstock.com (OSTK) , DISH Network (DISH) and Expedia (EXPE) as bitcoin partners, but despite the well-known names on this list bitcoin's future is still cloudy.
"I would say that Microsoft's acceptance of bitcoin for certain purchases affords the currency greater credibility and likely improves confidence regarding the long-term viability of the platform, though I believe bitcoin as a mainstream currency remains a fairly distant possibility," said Josh Olson, technology analyst at Edward Jones.
Dell CIO Paul J. Walsh said, “We're pleased by the response to our current Bitcoin pilot on Dell.com for consumer and small business shoppers in the U.S. While we were initially predicting we’d see primarily consumer demand, we are seeing purchases across the full product and customer spectrum -- from software and peripherals to our Latitude business line of PCs and even our largest transaction to date -- north of $50,000 for a highly configured PowerEdge server system. This form of payment is clearly resonating with consumer, small and medium businesses.”
Overstock.com was a bit more upbeat in its appraisal. The online retailer began accepting bitcoin payment domestically in January and internationally in September. Judd Bagley, director of communications at Overstock.com gave his company's bitcoin experience to date a glass half-full appraisal.
"As the year ends, the total revenue figures have been less than we'd hoped, but we're still very happy. Specifically, we're going to hit the $3-million mark for the year, but we'd hoped for two times that amount," said Bagley.
Bagley noted the reason the company is falling short of its goal is a lack of international usage. Overstock.com expected to do $3 million in overseas sales, but that has not happened.
Expedia, which began accepting bitcoin for hotel purchases in June, is also upbeat.
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