Microsoft has revealed, via another Building Windows 8 blog entry, the optional capability for a user to sign into their Windows 8 PC using a Windows Live ID to access a broad range of settings across all of their Windows 8 PCs.
“In Windows 8, we have set out to ensure that each PC user has a truly personal experience that seamlessly bridges their online and offline tasks, is simpler to set up and use, and persists across their set of Windows 8 PCs. To do this, we’ve introduced the ability to log in to Windows (optionally) with a Windows Live ID that works across devices, apps, and services, allowing you a uniquely personal experience with Windows,” Microsoft states.
According to Microsoft, signing in with a Windows Live 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.
Microsoft is hoping to make it easier for those who lose work when buying a new PC or using a different PC. With Windows 8’s Live ID integration, users can seamlessly save and migrate their lock screen picture, desktop background, user tile, browser favorites and history, spell check dictionaries, Explorer settings, mouse settings, and accessibility settings to the cloud.
“As mentioned earlier, there are three categories of data that can be synced to your Windows 8 PCs when you sign in with your ID: 1) Windows settings, 2) App settings and data, and 3) credentials. This data is stored in the cloud so that it is available to you when you sign in to your various Windows 8 PCs,” Microsoft mentions.
Using Windows Live ID with Windows 8, users can also avoid having to sign into multiple services and applications. Instead, onced signed into Live ID, users will have access to any app or website that utilizes Live ID.
Data sent to the cloud is also safe guarded and encrypted. “All data and settings that leave your PC are 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. The data stored is not available to other Microsoft services or third parties. Lastly, before the sensitive information can be accessed on a second Windows 8 PC for the first time, you must establish “trust” for that PC by providing further proof of your identity. This further proof can be done by providing Windows with a code sent to your mobile phone number or by following the instructions sent to an alternate email address,” Microsoft adds.