Roughly one year ago, Microsoft (MSFT) added Bitcoin as a supported payment platform to its Windows Store. And today, that support has ended.
Microsoft has not made much of comment on this, only posting this as an FAQ:
"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."
There is little explanation as to why exactly Microsoft has dropped the service, and according to TechCrunch, it could have simply stemmed from a lack of interest and use among customers.
While the crypto-currency does have some strong supporters out there, Bitcoin -- and other digital currencies -- may be further away from the mainstream than some fans may have hoped.
Considering the juggernaut size of Microsoft, some may consider the tech company's dropping of Bitcoin as a blow to the currency - even if only in the short-term.
Shares of Microsoft closed at $53.17 Monday, up a fraction of a percent.
Want better cellular service? Well, we have good news and bad news. The first being that faster service is indeed on its way -- yay! -- but it will take some time, upwards of likely a few years.
Here's the skinny. The FCC is performing what's known as a reverse auction, in which it will sell additional spectrum to wireless providers (who desperately need spectrum), and then go to the TV broadcasters (who have lots of spectrum) to purchase the spectrum needed.
So rather than buying then selling, the FCC is selling then buying. As broken down cleanly and efficiently by Re/Code, the government controls the spectrum -- airwaves -- and are looking to redistribute it from those that have a lot, to those who need more.
Sprint (S) has already said it's out of the bidding process, but others including Verizon (VZ) , AT&T (T) and T-Mobile (TMUS) remain interested. TV broadcasters that want to use its excess spectrum for wireless -- like Comcast (CMCSA) -- will also have to participate. This is because the spectrum has already been granted for a specific purpose, in this case TV, and would have to be sold back and repurchased for wireless use.
I know, it seems weird. But as a consumer, all you need to know is that once the whole thing is over with, our service will be faster -- again, yay!
So when exactly will that be?
The selling portion of the auction should end in late April, while the buying will likely take place in early summer. Sadly, it will take providers some time to get the proper equipment up and running, and then it will take phone manufacturers such as Apple (AAPL) and Samsung (SSNLF) additional time to create compatible devices.