Microsoft details its Windows Live ID integration in Windows 8

By Tom Warren, on 26th Sep 11 7:43 pm with 31 Comments

Microsoft detailed its Windows Live ID integration in Windows 8 on Monday.

The software giant is planning to offer optional Windows Live sign-in for user accounts as part of Windows 8. The developer preview build of Windows 8 offers some parts of the integration but Microsoft plans to include the following in Windows 8:

  • Associate the most commonly used Windows settings with your user account. Saved settings are available on each Windows 8 PC you sign in to
  • Windows 8 Metro style app settings and last-used state persist across all Windows 8 PCs linked PCs
  • Website and application login credentials are automatically synced across Windows 8 linked PCs
  • Automatically sign in to apps and services that use Windows Live ID for authentication

Windows 8 users can choose which settings they would live to sync across their PCs. Settings such as the lock screen picture you’ve chosen or Windows desktop wallpaper, account user tile, browser favourites and explorer settings will sync across all Windows Live ID linked PCs. “They are kept in sync and come down to each machine you use as they are changed or updated,” explained Katie Frigon of Microsoft’s you-centered experience team in a blog post on Monday.

“We’ve recommended a default behavior that assumes you want to roam settings that are used most often to personalize and customize the way you use your PC,” says Frigon. “You maintain control of your data when work and personal start to mix.” Microsoft asks Windows 8 users which type of data they want to sync if they choose to link a Windows Live ID to a Windows Domain account. “You can decide if things like your web history, favorites, or credentials should sync to your work machine, or if you’d prefer to keep those or anything else that is synced only on your personal machines,” explains Frigon.

IT administrators can also control what a user decides to sync to a work PC through group policy. “We have provided control to IT administrators to decide if a worker can link their domain account to an ID, and if the admin allows that link, what types of data the worker is allowed to sync,” says Frigon. Microsoft also separates the Windows domain credentials so they never get synced to the cloud.

Microsoft is safe guarding the data and privacy of Windows 8 users by requiring a strong password and a secondary proof of identity. The secondary proof will enable users to create a trust between PCs that they own and Windows Live. “Collecting the secondary proof of your identity also helps make account recovery easier and more secure,” explains Frigon. Microsoft has taken extra steps to ensure data is protected too. The company will not roam data over WWAN by default and all user data is encrypted on the client before it’s sent to Microsoft’s cloud servers. All data is then transmitted using SSL/TLS. “The most sensitive information, like your credential information, is encrypted once based on your password and then encrypted again as it is sent across the Internet,” explains Frigon. Windows 8 users will be able to establish a secure PC by providing the extra proof of identity. The secondary proof can be setup using a mobile phone via SMS or a secondary email address.

Microsoft believes the new settings will make the Windows 8 experience more personal and easier to setup across multiple devices. “We look forward to hearing about how you are enjoying the feature and to receiving your feedback,” says Frigon.

  • AlienSix

    Cant wait for the Windows 8 beta to drop with this in it hopefully

    • Guest

      Its already in there with the BUILD drop. Go into the control panel.

  • Joe

    If I go to someone elses PC that has Windows 8 loaded onto it, say a work PC, and type in my Windows Live ID, can I log into this machine? Or does it have to be setup at the beginning or by a current user of the PC?

    • Anonymous

      there is a “add user” option. and it has the Windows live ID log in.

    • Monkey D Black

      yeah, you can log in, but also remember that you can also log out. a work PC? that depends on what your IT department allows you to sync over.

  • Anonymous

    I like this, itw as nice to see my wallpaper and even favorites synched the 5 times i installed dev preview. of course i cant wait for more integration. but it will happen, since its already there just needs to be more polished.

    anyway Windows 8 is looking better and better, so cant wait for beta to see all this skydrive: photos, people hub amd whatever they want to throw! Windows 8 is full of really new features. I love metro UI but even if it didn’t have a new start menu/screen, all the new features are worth my upgrade.

  • Mark


  • Stark

    That. Is. Fucking. Awesome.

  • Anonymous

    My decision to switch from Yahoo to Live full time is looking better!

  • Pierre Venescar

    Cant wait to get a windows 8 tablet.

    • Anonymous

      You can get an Acer W500 and start enjoying W8 today. I’m shocked how fast it boots and runs. W8 DP has some bugs but works fine for web browsing.

    • Monkey D Black

      thank you. I’ve been looking around and I think I’m going to buy this one until windows 8 ships with better hardware.

  • Anonymous

    I really hope they add this to Windows Phone too.

    • Seth_p

      From what I recall, they’re suppose to be shipping a new web dashboard + online marketplace; all which syncs your apps and settings. Since Microsoft is still in the process of phasing out MyPhone, I’d presume a rollout at the end of this year for the dashboard?.. or everything I said is bogus (except the marketplace) :)

  • Anonymous


  • Penta2100

    Dear Microsoft. I am seriously about to piss myself with joy. :D:D:D:D:D:D:D

  • wetworker


  • Anonymous

    Great…..But…I just got a $827.89 iPad2 for only $103.37 and my mom got a $1499.99 HTV for only $251.92, they are both coming tomorrow. I would be an idiot to ever pay full retail prîces at places like Walmart or Bestbuy. I sold a 37″ HTV to my boss for $600 that I only paid $78.24 for. I use

    • The Boss

      I swear I’ll kill your entire family. fuck off.

  • Olisaebuka Maduka

    Great! I’m loving Windows 8 more as the days fly by.

  • Owais_503

    will u be able to creat multiple windows user account on a single pc like on windows 7.

    • Anonymous

      obviously. thats why they say you can sync your info in whatever computer you go. you go to your computer… you change something and go to your friends house and you will get your same info.

      there is a “add user” it has the same Live ID log in. but also you can create a new local account when you right click in your user pic in start screen.
      it doesn’t work properly with me, it crashes my win8. BUT in control panel in “users” you will see at bottom “add user” (which Works properly) and it says you can add another live id account. but if you use “more about logon options” you can create a local account.

      so yeah you can. i dont know how it will set up, for example admin rights and such. if you log in in your friends computer but i guess they will talk more about it. right now, admin rights and such are pretty much stupid. im an admin and UAC turned off and its like if i didn’t have it. and when i run a program as an admin, drag and drop doesn’t work, some programs will not work properly since they cant start other things. but it will work properly in the end, just not so much in Windows Dev Preview

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, I added accounts for my family members but it didn’t work until I gave them admin priviledge. Just another bug among others I saw in the DP. But unlike W7, switching between users (and even multiple concurrent logins) seemed much smoother. And I have only 2GB of memory on w500.

  • Guest

    I guess it’s okay - if you like that sort of thing. But what about if I’m running Red hat? How’s that going to work? /sarcasm

    • SVj,f,vld

      Red hat does work my friend as long as ur hardware manufacturer allows u…

  • McAkins Online

    For all of you complaining of your family members running as admin, create the account and let them login. The account will be created as admin. After the initial login, LiveId account creation, remove the admin rights. The will be dropped down to Standard users, and still be able to use the system. I am running daily as standard account, and have an admin account for installs etc.

  • Anonymous

    Someday, may be after 6 yrs, I would say, “I miss my old day laptop without app (live tiles) all over the homepage”. Then there would be either ipad, chrome book or windows 10 (full touchscreen with no support for desktop). Windows 7 on ebay for sale for $500+. Just guessing in MS style.

  • JimmyFal

    Why isn’t this girl on stage at build? Instead of someone who sounded nervous and looked as though she didn’t know her way around the OS?

  • MarecOne

    Windows 8 is going to be great – based on all the news.

  • Gzproger

    Wish list:
    - Access skydrive like acessing a local drive
    - Messenger and contacts naturally integrated to OS
    - Allow apps to access skydrive, contacts, and even messenger features, without asking user to enter username/password again

  • barrymoves