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Windows 8 Will Remember Your Settings Across PCs

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 5 comments

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Microsoft is heavily pitching Windows 8 to be its most user-centric effort yet. One such feature is the ability to sync settings between different computers, so that users can have a similar and more seamless experience moving from one machine to the next.

This means that a Windows 8 user, if he or she chooses, can share settings and personalization between home and work or school computers, or perhaps even between multiple machines within the same home.

Katie Frigon, Group Program Manager at Microsoft, details in the B8 blog that it signing into Windows 8 using a Windows Live ID allows the user 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.

Check out how it all works in the video below:

 

Of course, security and privacy is a major concern of having things such as password and browser history synced to the cloud. For those who prefer to keep things private, this Windows Live ID sign-in is completely optional. Also, users can also selectively disable the syncing and storage of certain sensitive items.

Frigon explains other measures in place to guard a user's privacy:

We’ve taken measures to safeguard the ID and password you use to sign in to Windows. We do this in a couple ways. First, we will require a strong password (and you can’t leave password blank). Next, we’ll collect a secondary proof of your identity. This will allow us to establish “trust” with specific PCs that you use frequently or own. This in turn will also enable more secure syncing of private data like passwords. Collecting the secondary proof of your identity also helps make account recovery easier and more secure. Examples of secondary proofs are alternative email addresses, mobile phone numbers, and questions with secret answers—something that generally only you will know.

[…]

You might also be wondering, “what happens if somehow my Windows Live ID gets stolen?”  Well, we have some help for you there too. Windows Live ID includes a number of different safety features to detect if your account is stolen, and it will change your account to a “compromised” state (limiting what it can do) until you can regain control of your account using the two-factor authentication features (secondary proofs) that you set up earlier. Importantly, you will still have full access to your PC, since your PC will allow you to log in with the password you had before your account was stolen – you just won’t be able to use the services and applications that rely on this ID until you go through our “recover my account” workflow online.

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  • 4 Hide
    shanky887614 , 3 October 2011 04:39
    i dont think ill bother with windows

    ill stick with windows 7 till im forced by games to upgrade
  • 2 Hide
    silver565 , 3 October 2011 05:09
    I do like the copying & task manager in win8 though.

    But win7 works fine for me. I have no need to upgrade
  • 0 Hide
    K33 , 3 October 2011 05:39
    Um, Like Firefox does already?

    So I don't actually have to save my settings manually?...Wow what a step forward technologically...

    Great... Wake me up when they are through trying to wake me up please.

  • 1 Hide
    dizzy_davidh , 3 October 2011 11:26
    In short, I found the new UI\GUI just awful and hve absolutely no plan to move from Windows7 unless I am forced too by the requirements of the next big super-game for example.

    I can also ee millions of corporates not bothering either which is clearly a statment Microsoft would not want to hear.
  • 0 Hide
    MKeeper , 3 October 2011 17:40
    K33 .. FireFox only does that for the browser.

    This is talking about doing it for main OS settings (installed applications, desktop setup, etc).

    And if FireFox is so great for having this feature, then why is it so bad than Windows 8 builds it in?

    and if you want to talk about "technological leap forward" .. what other PC operating systems can do this out of the box ??