The Importance of Windows Live

September 29, 2011, By Christian Cawley

Do you have a Windows Live login? If not, you had better think about setting one up…

Whether you want to use Windows Live Hotmail, sign in to a Windows Phone 7 device or use the new Windows 8 operating system when it is released, you will need to have a Windows Live account.

Microsoft is really pushing Windows Live at present, and its current functionality – including the Windows Live Essentials pack – means that it is already a mirror image of the Apple MobileMe service. While Mac OS X doesn’t require you to sign in with a MobileMe account, most of the native online services do, and Microsoft look to be following this model for Windows 8.

The Importance of Windows Live

The benefit of this, of course, is cloud computing. Windows Live Hotmail, SkyDrive and Microsoft Office Live are all served to users with a Windows Live account, and these services will be accessible from any Windows 8 computer.

(Note that a Windows Live login will not be required to use Windows 8 at all times.)

Windows 8 and The Cloud

While many users will not want to rely on cloud computing with Windows 8, those that are running the operating system on ARM processor devices will see this as functionality on a par with that offered on the iPad and Android devices.

One of the key elements of Windows 8 is that it is scalable and will be compatible with such devices. As a result, the cloud email and storage services on offer are likely to prove very popular.

At present we don’t know too much about Windows 8, but what we do know is that it looks great and is designed with a UI optimized for tablet computing.

Windows Phone and Windows Live

If you weren’t already aware, Windows Phone requires a Windows Live account much in the same way that Android needs a Google account and iPhones require an Apple account for optimum performance.

Without a Windows Live account, Windows Phone users will be unable to access their Windows Live Hotmail account, calendar and contacts. This is a particularly useful service for non-corporate users who don’t have access to Microsoft Exchange, so it is worth having a Windows Live account for this alone (Google Mail and Calendar are also available as an alternative if preferred).

Windows Live also affords Windows Phone users with the vital Find my Phone tool, something that all Windows Phone device owners should have setup in the event of loss or theft of their device.

How Do I Create a Windows Live Account?

To create a Windows Live account, head over to and select Sign Up. It shouldn’t take long before your account is created, and you will be ready to try out a variety of services and prepare yourself for Windows 8.

Note that if you have a Zune, Xbox LIVE or Microsoft Messenger account, you already own a Windows Live account, so you can sign in with this.

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