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Microsoft introduces digital gift cards for Windows Phone

Do your holiday shopping from your phone, if your friends and family want Microsoft products.

Nokia Lumia 520 with Windows Phone 8
Credit: Thinkstock

Microsoft has joined the parade of e-commerce mobile apps that allow users to make purchases directly from their phone, introducing a new Windows Phone app for giving the gift of Microsoft.

Digital Gift Cards for Windows Phone is an app that makes it possible to buy and share gift cards with your Windows Phone, but the purchases aren't limited to WP. With its whopping 3% market share, it probably wouldn't reach many people if it was. The app also offers apps, games, movies and music from Xbox and Windows stores.

The digital gift cards can be emailed to the recipient as soon as payment is made, or they can be delivered on a specific date. And this app is not limited to the holiday shopping season – it can be used to give a gift any time for any reason. You can choose from people on your friends list or send it to someone not on the list. Even better, users can schedule purchases for any date through the app, so you don’t forget birthdays or other events.

The app lets you select gifts by occasion and interests and include a personal note. Gifts are available for Windows 8 phone, general PC, tablet, or Xbox. Music purchases include Xbox Music Pass on both Xbox One and Windows, and individual tracks are available.

All told, it looks pretty good. Certainly more impressive than the Best Buy app. I was struggling to find the right TV on that app this weekend. All I wanted was a 28-inch Samsung set. So I called up the BB app on my iPhone, selected 27- to 32-inch TVs and checked the Samsung box for brands. What did the search results give me? Forty-inch Insignia TVs, 46-inch LG, and basically everything but what I wanted. I ended up finding the set I wanted on the BB web page from my home PC.

Hopefully Microsoft’s app works better than that one.

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