microsoft account

We’ve had Windows Phone 8.1 for a handful of weeks, but we’re still learning new things all the time. Remember back on Windows Phone 8.0 and below how much of a pain it was to change your primary Microsoft account email? Adding an alias to your account and making it your primary required a hard reset of the phone to add it. That changes in Windows Phone 8.1. Today you can add an alias to your account and make it your primary without needing to change anything! Here’s how.

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Skype for Windows Phone has been updated to version 2.16, which includes a number of improvements. The major change in this latest release is the removal of Skype usernames for login, previously utilised by consumers before Microsoft began to implement its account system across products and services. Now Windows Phone owners can keep things simple and login through their Microsoft account.

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Microsoft had stated that they are "focused on engineering improvements that will further strengthen security," and evidence has begun to take root with a collection of new security features that will be added to existing and new Microsoft accounts. The new features will be rolling out over the next few days and include a new Recent Activity tab, Recovery Codes, and increased security notifications. 

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One of the great things about the digital future is the ability to tie your app purchases to your respective account. In the Microsoft ecosystem we get the ability to have up to 5 Windows Phone devices with our app purchases that are tied to our Microsoft Account ID. If you get a sixth device, you’ll need to deactivate one of your previous handsets.

On Windows 8, that 5 device limit was the same as Windows Phone. But Windows 8.1 is going to increase that roam limit quite a bit. How much? A lot.

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About a week ago Microsoft made your account more secure. If you use any Microsoft service or product you own a Microsoft Account. You use that account to sign into your Windows Phone to download apps and track the phone if you ever lose it. On Xbox it’s associated with your Gamertag and allows you to carry your profile from Xbox to Xbox and keep your Gamerscore and Achievements synced. On Windows 8 it allows your settings and wallpapers’ to sync across your laptop, desktop, and tablets.

If you’re in anyway shape or form using a Microsoft product you need to enable two-step verification to keep your account secure. Here’s how to set it up.

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As well as launching two-step authentication for Microsoft accounts, the company has also refreshed Outlook.com with some new features. First up is the ability to log in on Outlook using an email alias that's present on the account. Previously, the only option was the permanently rename the account, which caused many issues for Windows Phone owners, but this move will help allow consumers to chop and change aliases as they please.

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Two-step authentication, the process whereby you use more than just a password to verify an account, is increasingly an important security tool desired by not just enterprise but consumers. Google has had with Gmail for a few years now, and Microsoft is on the cusp of releasing their version as well.

LiveSide.net is reporting that the service will be integrated into existing Microsoft Accounts (Outlook.com, Hotmail, etc.) though those with linked accounts may have to un-link and the re-link them to get it to work.

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Microsoft has previously confirmed it was looking to introduce Sina Weibo connectivity to China for use with its platforms. The micro-blogging service is a must-have for the array of products the company now has on offer. With popular social networks already available through Microsoft Accounts, it's only right that Chinese consumers be able to achieve the same level of integration.

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So you’re currently looking forward to receiving / purchasing your Windows Phone 8 handset, or have just unboxed the device, but what’s to take in before getting started? While Microsoft services are recommended over competitors to further enhance the experience and overall functionality available, they're not a requirement.

You don’t have to go all out Windows should you choose not to. In fact, Microsoft has made it so you can continue residing in an competitor dominated home while being able to make the most of what Windows Phone has to offer. So what are the Microsoft equivalents of what you may already be using on a daily basis?

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Online ads can be annoying and it appears Microsoft is working on a way to focus these ads more towards your likes and away from your dislikes. We ran across the Microsoft Personal Data Dashboard that will let you filter out the unwanted ads and let those you might be interested in through.  These filters will likely impact ads you see over on Outlook.com and on your Windows Phone.  

The Dashboard has several sections or tabs with the main tab reflecting your Windows Live Profile. Additional sections include: 

My Data: Here is where you can tag your interests and dislikes from a wide variety of topics. You can also narrow down your likes and dislikes to the brand names of products.

The My Data page also lets you view your Bing search history and any Microsoft Newsletters you are currently subscribed to.

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Images from the Windows Phone 8 SDK show off updated Office, SMS backup

It’s still technically the same day as the leak of the Windows Phone 8 SDK and now some images are showing up online showcasing some new features of the updated OS (we’re visiting Canada and don’t have access to our Win 8 machine to run the SDK ourselves). The images come via WP7.Hu who has thrown no less than 30 images up on their site.

Images are stronger than words so we’ll keep this one brief. These images show of various new or updates features in Windows Phone 8 which consumers will be more than glad to gander. Here’s what is displayed after the break (and above):

  • Text message backup to SkyDrive
  • Office 2013 for Windows Phone
  • Photo options
  • New Accent colors
  • Lock screen options
  • Phone storage (+ SD card support)
  • App list + setting backup feature
  • Microsoft Account
  • Voice Command options
  • Xbox Music

Needless to say, it’s a lot so head past the break to see it all in its glory. Make sure to "click to enlarge" to get a better look. Thanks, xajuan, for the tip

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The new Microsoft Account page is now live but no longer 'Live'

We’ve reported on the slow rollout of 'Microsoft Account' for a few weeks now. The replacement for 'Live is slowly transforming as we’ve first noted it back at the beginning of June with the commerce site showing the new style.

Today, we’re getting reports (and have verified ourselves) that Microsoft Account is showing up on the https://account.live.com/ site, allowing you to create a new account (if you already didn’t have one). We saw this a few days ago but now it seems to be finally go wide today. You can of course login but you’ll be taken to the familiar services like Hotmail (still a terrible name) but they have not yet had their Metro makeover, which along with SkyDrive should be happening soon...

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As a reminder, Microsoft in its continued quest to find the perfect name is rebranding its Live services this year. Yes, Live ID is going to Microsoft Account and that's after it had already used previous titles like Microsoft Wallet, Microsoft Passport, .NET Passport and Microsoft Passport Network. Phew.

When Live ID finally goes away and Hotmail, etc. get the re-launch is anyone's guess as well as what email address Microsoft will be offering. But for now, you can navigate to https://commerce.microsoft.com and take a gander.

The new Microsoft Account management screen is clean and simple

Logging in brings you to an all new account overview page where you can manage your services, payment options, subscriptions and view your transactions. Our verdict? It's nice. Simple, to the point and easy to make sense out of so kudos to Microsoft for the stripped down look.

Is this game changing? No...definitely not. But it's kind of interesting to see where Microsoft is going with this services revamp. Thanks, Joshua, for the tip

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Microsoft has altered the text displayed when tweeting from Windows Phones. Instead of displaying "via Windows Live", which is what we've become accustomed to with integration on the mobile platform running through the Live ID (soon to be 'Microsoft Account'), any tweets published from a Windows Phone will now display "via Microsoft".

This is another step in the withdrawal of the Live branding in favour of Microsoft and Windows. We've previously looked at how the software giant is rebranding products with the upcoming launch of Windows 8. While information has come to light surrounding previous Windows Live essential services, little has come to light about the new music service as-of-yet. 

via: Metro Powered

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