I recently bought a new laptop with Windows 8 preloaded. Yes, I hate it, but
I’m willing to try and use it for awhile and see if I can grow to like it.
However, I keep being asked to create a Microsoft account. Why? What does it
do? Who sees it? Why do I need it? As I understand it, it allows you to
retrieve your information across multiple devices: laptop, desktop, tablets,
smartphone, which might make sense if I traveled in my job but I don’t anymore
and I don’t need that feature. Yet without creating the account it seems many
functions of Windows 8 are blocked. Why? Any workaround?
In this excerpt from
Answercast #93 I look at setting up a Microsoft account to enjoy the full
functions of with Window 8. There’s really no reason not to do it.
Microsoft account with Windows 8
You know, in all honesty, the best workaround is to just give in and create yourself a Windows account.
What that will do is that will create either a Hotmail account, or a Live account, or an Outlook.com account. That will allow you to then basically sidestep the nagging – and it will enable some of those features and functionalities that might be blocked.
Who sees a Microsoft account?
Now, who sees it? Well, it’s just Microsoft’s servers. They “see”; they will hook into whatever services are associated with that Microsoft account: things like Skydrive and Hotmail and Photosharing, and God only knows what else.
But, the point is, that’s what it’s all about. It’s a way for Microsoft to provide services in Windows that have an online component.
So for example, if you keep your files in Skydrive then you can access them from the web instead of on your PC. Those kinds of things.
Don’t need online services
You indicate that you would only really consider that when traveling.
You know what? I find those kinds of services very, very useful even here at home. And that’s because I have more than one computer. In fact, it’s a very easy way for me to share things with other people without necessarily needing to give them access to my computer.
Remember, pictures that you might upload to Skydrive (or to wherever else Microsoft has you place them) are typically things that can be easily shared with other people – without necessarily needing to make huge attachments to email.
Don’t have to use it
So, like I said, I really don’t see a huge security risk here. You don’t have to use the Microsoft account, after you’ve created it.
If nothing else, it will, at least, get Windows 8 to stop complaining. Just consider it a throwaway account, if you like, that will enable whatever features that you may end up liking in Windows 8.
If you do, well then, you’re all set with your Windows account.
(Transcript lightly edited for readability.)
Next from Answercast 93- Is there any real difference between copying files using copy/paste versus copy-to-folder?