What is MSFT Billing Microsoft goes to great lengths to convince Windows 8 users to log on with an email address, but if your account gets hijacked you could find yourself locked out If you've been using the Windows 8 Consumer Preview, no doubt you've toyed with the idea of using a Microsoft Account log-in -- most commonly a Hotmail or Windows Live email address. But have you stopped to consider what happens if your Hotmail account gets hijacked?

I'm not concerned about computers connected to the domain. I'm worried about the mobile folks, the ones who work off the grid. They face an interesting challenge in Windows 8.

Windows 8 stacks the deck, trying to convince people to log on with an email address. Microsoft has rebranded many old accounts -- Windows Live ID, Hotmail ID, Zone, and Xbox Live IDs -- into a shiny new "Microsoft Account." When you sign in to Windows 8 with your Microsoft Account, you can download apps from the Windows Store and get into your Skydive data with just a click. Microsoft also synchronizes many of your settings -- including legacy desktop and metro appearances and other settings -- IE favorites and history, Web sign-ins, and so on.

If you log on to Windows 8 with a regular Local user ID and password, you're a second-class citizen. The Music app sniffs, "To get the most from this app, switch from your local account to a Microsoft account." You have to sign in to the Microsoft Store. Skydive asks for a sign-in -- photos, too. It's definitely to your advantage to set up a Microsoft Account and use your Hotmail or Live email address. (You can use any email address as a Microsoft Account, in fact, but the Windows 8 directions don't mention that option.)

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