As I’ve been digging into Windows 8 – it’s become painfully clear that having 1 ID for everything is ideal. What I mean is, if I had one @live.com or @hotmail.com ID, I could use that across Windows 8, my Windows Phone, Xbox, and even ZunePass-enable all of those devices.
I have several Hotmail or Live ID’s that I created for various reasons. There are two specific problems that this has now created:
- Xbox Companion – on Windows 8, there is this “Xbox Companion” app that let’s you remotely control your Xbox. The twist? You have to be logged in as the same ID on both Windows 8 and Xbox. In may case, I wasn’t, my Xbox gamertag is associated with a different Live ID – so I couldn’t use this feature. This is that “second screen” technology that MS has been touting – and it is pretty slick!
- ZunePass – despite the hardware being a commercial failure, the ZunePass program is waaaaaaaaay better than the iTunes alternative. With ZunePass, I have UNLIMITED access to every song they have (and they have an enormous library of every song I’ve ever heard). The best part though is that when you buy a song, you actually get a DRM-free MP3 file. With iTunes, that is not the case. ANYhow, if I log into Windows Phone or Windows 8 with the same ID as that ZunePass, that means I get unlimited free music on that device. In my case, I was logging into Windows 8 and XBox with a different ID – so I could only use ZunePass on my old Windows 7 machine.
This was a mess. This could all work together nicely, but it requires that I be on one account. So last night, I tried to see if I could get it straightened out. It took about an hour on the phone but I did. Here is the phone number for Xbox/Live account support:
They were able to get my main ID hooked up with my Xbox subscription, and got my ZunePass over to the new ID. This means that on my PC, Xbox, and Windows Phone – everything just works nicely together now.
The Second Problem:
This does, of course, create a new problem. I am a pretty big privacy advocate. I go out of my way to create many accounts and create misinformation – just on principle. I don’t think it’s appropriate for corporations to know as much as they do about us. When you “get in bed” with vendor like this, that makes you extremely trackable and traceable to that company, and all the marketing companies that leach off of your details.
This is not specific to Microsoft, the same idea applies to a Gmail ID for Android devices, and an Apple ID for iOS devices – in fact, Microsoft was really the last one to do this.
So, how do I reconcile it? Well, it doesn’t sit well with me, but I guess I am choosing to sell-out. The convenience of all of these products working together, are apparently more important than privacy to me…. I guess? I mean, the other option is don’t use all of this great new technology, right? I don’t know, this seems like a fool’s bargain.