Microsoft's HUGE mistake that could sink its eco-system.

I believe that Microsofts biggest problem is itself when it comes to the re-boot of their ecosystem. This is because they still have a lot of old policies in place that are not compatible with the Marketplace business model.

Although the Windows App store is growing, and Xbox media services are being finalised for launch they still have back-end problems that keep customers from getting the right content.

I have been looking around the Microsoft forums and have found thousands of people that are experiencing the same issues I am having with their "eco system" which I will explain.

About twelve years ago when I was 10 years old I created my MSN account which would now be my Microsoft account. I have used this e-mail for everything, and when the xbox came around I used it for Xbox Live. This being in the early 2000's DLC and internet services were near to non-existent.

At the time I was living in Amsterdam, and from the time the Xbox 360 came out I have spend hundreds of euros, and hours on my Xbox account. Having bought all that DLC and unlocked thousands of achievement points. So now I live in the UK and because of Microsofts old policies, I can not in ANY way change my location. I can not add a credit card or purchase content available in the UK.

So I contacted Microsoft and all they had to say is, 'it's unchangeable, you need to make a new account'. As if it was nothing, do they not understand that I would lose all of my DLC, Achievements, save games and everything else connected to that account?

As for my Google account, when I move through countries I can change it hell even when I cross the border from the UK to mainland Europe it changes the currency on Google Play from £ to EUR.

So Microsoft has not kept it in mind that people travel and migrate all over the world. So you might be living in America for a while and move away, that renders all of your stuff on your Microsoft account useless.

I am surprised that this has not come up in blog previews of the Microsoft eco system. Today I wanted to check out the Xbox Music app on Windows 8 and surprise... although I am in the UK and the PC is set to the UK region. It forced me to change my region to The Netherlands because my Microsoft account. The Windows App Store is different everywhere, the US version is the most detailed by far, then the UK & Canada but the rest of Europe lacks a lot. Even the comments and reviews on apps are separated!

I really start to doubt that Microsoft knows what an eco system is because this is atrocious, and come the Windows 8 release this issue will blow up because everyone will experience it not just the people using Xbox Live, Windows Phone and even Zune right now.

Hi folks -

What matters here is what country your ZUNE account is - not your Live ID. Microsoft does allow you to change your billing country; Zune, for certain reasons (licensing restrictions), does not. So whatever country you created your Zune ID with is what it is to stay - and Support can't change it, unfortunately.

I can promise that this is a significant issue that the Zune group is considering; for now, we have to recommend creating a new Zune account with a different Live ID if your Zune account country doesn't match your actual country (or, the marketplace you want to use).

--Jessica

Jessica Zahn, Senior Program Manager

Other affected services.

  • Xbox Live – Achievements, Gamer Score, Content (thousands of dollars worth), Membership
  • SkyDrive Storage – Photos, Files
  • Zune
  • Office 360 – Documents
  • Windows Phone – Integration
  • MSDN Subscriptions
  • Azure Services – Online services, Servers, etc..
  • TFS Azure – Source Control, Work Item Tracking … etc.

  • Windows 8 Login – Settings, Wallpapers and Tight integration on all levels

I am wondering if any people here have had issues with this, and if you got the same response from Microsoft. Really hope that this gets some media attention to make Microsoft see how big of a deal(breaker) this is to people.

Here is an article that goes in much more detail http://blog.hinshelwood.com/allow-user-to-change-the-region-for-windows-live-id-billing/

Please recommend this post to bring awareness to this

And please vote for the suggestion to change the ancient ways of Microsoft here; http://windowsphone.uservoice.com/forums/101801-feature-suggestions/suggestions/2280332-allow-changing-your-windows-id-location-and-no