The push for Microsoft accounts

On October 26, 2013, in news, by

In the 8.1 release Microsoft makes it really clear that they want you to have Microsoft accounts.  Really clear.  So clear it’s really hard to keep them during the upgrade from 8 to 8.1

You can also see the push to Microsoft accounts in other areas on the box as well.


Supporting Windows Mail 8.1 in your organization – Exchange Team Blog – Site Home – TechNet Blogs:

Microsoft Accounts

By default, users are required to have a Microsoft account, formerly known as Windows Live ID, to use the Windows Communications apps. This will usually be the Microsoft account that the user is signed into Windows with, but if they have not done so, they will be prompted to provide one before proceeding.

If the Microsoft account is… Mail will… or Hotmail account Automatically sync email, Calendar and Contacts using Exchange ActiveSync
Not an or Hotmail account
(for example,
Prompt the user to provide password for their email account

Can my organization remove the requirement for a Microsoft account?

You can apply a Group Policy to a device to make a Microsoft Account optional for the Windows Communications apps.

Note, the Group Policy setting is configured in Computer Configuration node in the Group Policy and applies to all users of the computer/device to which it’s applied. The policy setting lets you control whether Microsoft accounts are optional for Windows Store apps that require an account to sign in. This policy only affects Windows Store apps that support it. Windows RT devices can use Local Group Policy.

To apply the Group Policy setting:

  1. Launch GPEdit by opening the “run” prompt (Windows key + r), and entering GPEdit.msc
  2. Go to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > App runtime
  3. Select Allow Microsoft accounts to be optional to configure the policy

If the Group Policy is applied and a Microsoft account is not used, the Communications apps will:

  1. Prompt the user for a work account (i.e. an Exchange ActiveSync account) password
  2. If account credentials are provided, use Exchange ActiveSync to synchronize email, Contacts and Calendar from the work account

A user can add additional accounts if desired. You can use corporate firewalls or other mechanisms to block access to any consumer email services as needed.

The following functionality will be unavailable to a user without a Microsoft Account:

  • Windows Store Application Installs
  • Account Settings roaming to additional devices
  • Connectivity to additional 3rd party services (e.g. Social sites)
  • Email communication from Microsoft regarding any updates to Microsoft Services Agreement.

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