So, you are currently looking forward to getting/purchasing a Windows Phone 8 phone or have just unboxed the device, but what do you need to do before you get started? While Microsoft services are recommended over competitors to further enhance features and overall functionality, they are not required.
You don’t have to go all out on Windows if you choose not to. In fact, Microsoft has made it so that you can continue to live in a house dominated by competitors and still get the most out of Windows Phone. So what are the Microsoft equivalents of what you can already use on a daily basis?
The services we talk about in this article are optional, but we strongly encourage you to set up a Microsoft account and get started. Creating one is very easy and you most likely already have an active profile. Have a Live ID or play on Xbox LIVE? Sweetie, you’re ready to go. If not, go to the registration page — more on that below.
Why get a Microsoft account?
Here are a few reasons why you should set up an account on Windows Phone:
- Protect your Windows Phone with automatic backup and location detection (Find My Phone).
- Turn on Xbox LIVE, Xbox Music (free trial available), and Messenger.
- Receive and send emails using Outlook.com (or Hotmail).
- Sync your Windows Phone (and its contents) with your Windows 8 PC.
- Take advantage of SkyDrive and a generous free quote.
- Buy and download apps and games from the Windows Phone Store.
- Twitter and Linked In integration in People Hub.
- Get personal results in Local Scout, Music + Videos and Windows Phone Store.
- Automatically sync contacts with Hotmail/Outlook.
The Microsoft account is the consumer’s key to access the services and products offered by the company. From Xbox Music to Outlook and Windows Store 8, it further integrates into Windows with the latest version of the desktop, bringing Microsoft account support for user management and device personalization.
Coming from iPhone/iOS or Android?
Here are some Microsoft equivalents for services you might get used to with competitor hardware:
- Internet Explorer — Safari, Chrome, Opera.
- Microsoft office — Pages / Numbers, Google Docs.
- bing — Google search.
- Xbox — Apple Game Center.
- Outlook — Gmail, Yahoo!.
- Skype — BBM, iMessage, Google Talk.
- skydrive iCloud, Google Drive.
- Windows Phone Store — Google Play, BlackBerry Application World, Apple App Store.
Once you’ve created your Microsoft account or found your existing profile’s login details, it’s time to add it to your new Windows Phone. This is a simple process that can be done during the initial setup steps. When setting up a new Windows Phone, it is greeted by logging in (or signing up) for a Microsoft account.
Create an account and set it all up
While we’ve touched on the services available to those who already have a Microsoft account, you may find yourself in a situation where you need to create one. It is very simple, easy and takes only two moments.
1. Create an account. There are two ways to create an account that lead to different results for usernames. Going to live.com ( www.live.com ) will allow you to create an @hotmail or @live email address, while outlook.com ( www.outlook.com ) is the place for @outlook email ids. If you subscribe to a Live ID/Hotmail email address, you can also create an Outlook alias.
From any of the websites, click the «Register Now» link below the login form. Here, you will be given a form to fill out, including personal details, as well as the ID you would like to use when signing in to Microsoft services. «I would like to use my own email address!» — we’ll get back to this shortly, go to 1.b if you’re interested in using your own third party address.
1.b Using your own email address . You can use your own email address, such as firstname.lastname@example.org. This will replace the Live ID you created, while Outlook addresses can be used as an alias for the main email account — then emails can be sent from Outlook.com but using a different email address. Once you’ve created a Microsoft account (with @hotmail, @live, or @outlook extensions), you can access your control panel by clicking on your profile photo in the top right corner, then select «Account Settings».
The account details will be displayed on the screen with an option to «update email address» under the account ID. Click on this link and you will see the same screen as shown above. Be sure to select «Use a different address» and then enter your external email ID.
Note that you will want to do this before setting up Windows Phone. If you change your Microsoft Account ID after your Windows Phone is set up with the old ID, services including SkyDrive , Xbox LIVE, and the Windows Phone Store will stop functioning until the device is restarted and updated account information is entered. account.
2. Phone setup . It is highly recommended to set up an account at this point to apply and download a previously saved backup (if you have previously used a Windows Phone), but please note that you cannot change a Microsoft account to a handset To be able to use the new profile on your Windows Phone, you will need to perform a hard reset (» Settings»>»About»>»Reset» ), which will clean the device and restart it.