A Note About the Windows 8 Entertainment Apps and Your Microsoft Account


In Chapter 8, we discussed how many of Windows 8’s productivity apps are simple clients for online services provided by Microsoft and other companies. As such, you must sign in to your Microsoft account to access many of these apps, even if you’ve elected–against our advice–to not automatically do so by signing in to the PC with a Microsoft account.


These apps rely heavily on online services, are less full‑featured when you’re offline; you’ll only be able to use content stored on the machine, your own PC‑based photos, music, and videos, and any rented movies or purchased TV shows or movies.


Photos and Camera actually work fine without a Microsoft account, go figure, but as you’ll see, you will need to sign into various online services to use Photos to its fullest. But Microsoft’s new Metro‑style entertainment apps, Xbox Music and Xbox Video (and the related Xbox Companion) do require you to sign‑in with a Microsoft account to be used effectively.

If you have signed in with a Microsoft account, these apps will automatically sign into that account as well, tying your PC or device to the Xbox entertainment services in the cloud. But if you’ve configured a non‑Microsoft account and attempt to run one of these apps, you’ll be asked to sign‑in with a Microsoft account. You can retain your current domain or local account if you’d like, and just sign in to app and app groups with a Microsoft account. Or, you could follow our advice from Chapter 12 and do the right thing: Sign in with a Microsoft account. Or, if you have a domain account, connect it to a Microsoft account. Signed in with a local account? Convert it.

Both Xbox Music and Xbox Video provide a similar experience for non‑Microsoft account users. You’ll just see a non‑threatening Sign In prompt in the upper‑right corner of the screen, as shown in Figure 9‑1.

Figure 9‑1: Xbox Music and Video both require a Microsoft account to be used fully.

If you don’t sign‑in, you’ll only see a tiny subset of the functionality described in this chapter. But you’re not going to go through any of that, right? Right.


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