Microsoft details signing in to Windows 8 with a Windows Live ID

Windows 8 is going to be a major disruption to what we know and expect from the traditional PC. Integration, cross platform functionality and many other ideas will finally land in the desktop experience.

Microsoft has just penned a new blog post that talks about signing in to Windows 8 with a Windows Live ID. The new post goes into greater detail about how you can now roam with your Windows Live ID. The basic idea is that if you sign into another machine and use your Windows Live ID, your settings will come with you.

Signing in with an ID allows you to:

  • Associate the most commonly used Windows settings with your user account. Saved settings are available when you sign in to your account on any Windows 8 PC. Your PC will be set up just the way you are used to!
  • Easily reacquire your Metro style apps on multiple Windows 8 PCs. The app’s settings and last-used state persist across all your Windows 8 PCs.
  • Save sign-in credentials for the different apps and websites you use and easily get back into them without having to enter credentials every time.
  • Automatically sign in to apps and services that use Windows Live ID for authentication.

The idea is simple, go to another machine, use your Live ID to login and your basic settings will come with you. This should help those who frequently use many machines and prefer to have their own settings with them at all times of the day. There is a lot of information on how this entire process works, including security concerns, that can be read on the Windows 8 blog.

Like all of us, you probably spend a significant amount of time personalizing your Windows experience to reflect your style, your life, and how you use your PC. We all know how frustrating it is when all that work is lost when you buy a new PC or use a different one (or just reformat your hard drive). With Windows 8, we are working to change that—you will be able to have your personal Windows experience on any Windows 8 PC you sign in to with your Windows Live ID. Settings such as your lock screen picture, desktop background, user tile, browser favorites and history, spell check dictionaries, Explorer settings, mouse settings, and accessibility settings, among many others are now associated with your Windows 8 account and stored in the cloud. They are kept in sync and come down to each machine you use as they are changed or updated.

If you are tired of having to personalize all of the PCs that you use, this should be a welcome feature to the Windows platform.  This is just one of the many new features that will be coming to Windows 8 and expect Microsoft to announce many more over the coming months.

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22 Comments

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Yeah, no thanks. All I want is Microsoft knowing what web sits I have visited and what apps I use. Yuck!

Thank God it's optional or I'd be switching to Ubuntu full time.

war said,
Yeah, no thanks. All I want is Microsoft knowing what web sits I have visited and what apps I use. Yuck!

Thank God it's optional or I'd be switching to Ubuntu full time.

Well my only question is regarding how likely is for them to use that to monitor illegal copies of Win8 or Office. Cause even if is optional, lets face it most of the normal people (not geeks like us) would probably enter from the beginning their live ID only to realize their copy of windows has been blocked.

Meconio said,

Well my only question is regarding how likely is for them to use that to monitor illegal copies of Win8 or Office. Cause even if is optional, lets face it most of the normal people (not geeks like us) would probably enter from the beginning their live ID only to realize their copy of windows has been blocked.

MS does not care about home brew illegal copies of Windows. They only really have a problem with the ones who sell pirated boxed versions or sell computers with pirated Windows (as well as corporate piracy). And they most certainly would not collect any info that could be linked to a person. They never have and probably never will.

If you don't want to type your Live ID password in every time you unlock the computer just set up a PIN login in the control panel. Tap a key, enter PIN and it logs you in without even having to hit enter.

It is a nice feature although in order to be able to login with a Live account the machine has to be already connected to internet.

Fritzly said,
It is a nice feature although in order to be able to login with a Live account the machine has to be already connected to internet.

wrong.... you don't need to be connected to internet to use your account.\

I just disconnected my internet restarted and then i could even use my live id password, not even my Pin and my photo password.

the only time you need password its to set up the account. then you don't really need it, to access, of course if you log in with your live id its because you would want your stuff synched which means you need internet. but you can still use it with no internet

nice! i like this feature since i installed 5 times Windows Preview and i even tested if it really synched my IE fav, of course it didn't sync the ones i copy and pasted from windows 7. only the ones that i created in Windows Dev Preview.

but its nice all the times it synched my stuff. hopefully they will add more sync stuff.

It's pretty nice, all that's working in the current build is syncing pinned bookmarks and your classic desktop wallpaper. That's it, even then. After reinstalling or making a new account it takes quite a while for it to sync itself. Hopefully it'll all be working come RTM. As it'll be great when getting a new computer.

I don't think it's meant for logging into a public computer or anything. Because unless the feature is just missing in the WDP. It does not allow you to log in without creating a new user.

TechDudeGeorge said,
It's pretty nice, all that's working in the current build is syncing pinned bookmarks and your classic desktop wallpaper. That's it, even then. After reinstalling or making a new account it takes quite a while for it to sync itself. Hopefully it'll all be working come RTM. As it'll be great when getting a new computer.

I don't think it's meant for logging into a public computer or anything. Because unless the feature is just missing in the WDP. It does not allow you to log in without creating a new user.

Can only add WLID account from the admin account.

TechDudeGeorge said,
I don't think it's meant for logging into a public computer or anything. Because unless the feature is just missing in the WDP. It does not allow you to log in without creating a new user.

What?
I logged in initially as my liveID account.
Worked fine, set up as Live Profile from the get go.

What we should really say is "Don't use this on public computers" unless you know the sysadmin isn't harvesting your user profile data to sell to anonymous marketing firms.

dotf said,

What?
I logged in initially as my liveID account.
Worked fine, set up as Live Profile from the get go.

What we should really say is "Don't use this on public computers" unless you know the sysadmin isn't harvesting your user profile data to sell to anonymous marketing firms.

Oh first boot, you can set-up using your WLID. But otherwise you have to be on an Admin account to be able to add the WLID account, just like adding a new local account. This could be over-written for public terminal use though, who knows.

TechDudeGeorge said,
It's pretty nice, all that's working in the current build is syncing pinned bookmarks and your classic desktop wallpaper. That's it, even then. After reinstalling or making a new account it takes quite a while for it to sync itself. Hopefully it'll all be working come RTM. As it'll be great when getting a new computer.

I don't think it's meant for logging into a public computer or anything. Because unless the feature is just missing in the WDP. It does not allow you to log in without creating a new user.

It also syncs the desktop IE's bookmarks.

This is how I have Windows 8 set up on my laptop. No more waiting for Messenger to run and sign in. It does it almost instantly.

briangw said,
This is how I have Windows 8 set up on my laptop. No more waiting for Messenger to run and sign in. It does it almost instantly.
My bare-metal and VirtualBox VMs are set up to same way (Wndows LiveID is sole account) - I couldn't set up my VMware VM that way (due to lack of Internet connectivity until installation of VMware Tools).

yep, slowly but surely things are falling in place! nice to see that they haven't stopped their blogging much after the build as well!

Ishanx said,
Chrome OS done right.

More like Roaming Profiles (an old Windows NT feature) for everyone (via the Internet). In an all-NT (NT4 and later) network with NT Server (thanks to ActiveDirectory), your user profile (operating system settings, applications, etc.) was perfectly capable of following you to any PC on the network. All Microsoft has done is leverage LiveIDs (based on the old Microsoft Passport Network, which dates back to - naturally - Windows 2000 - and is used by a lot of external-facing programs, including TechNet/MSDN, Connect, etc.). However, that *still* doesn't stop it from being a good idea.

PGHammer said,
More like Roaming Profiles....

It's more than that; it integrates with LiveID in that you no longer have to log into Live services. Logging onto the machine looks like a universal login to all Live services.

ChromeOS doesn't do that; you have to log into the machine and then log into the service.

jwmcpeak said,

It's more than that; it integrates with LiveID in that you no longer have to log into Live services. Logging onto the machine looks like a universal login to all Live services.

ChromeOS doesn't do that; you have to log into the machine and then log into the service.

im not sure about this concept. what if you get your LiveID phished. are you locked out of your own computer too ?

bdsams said,
I think many people new this feature was coming, but nice to see it detailed here. Looking good so far!

its looks so freaking efficient.. look how much she can get done in a few minutes.