Embracing the Future: Why Switching from Local to MICROSOFT Accounts Just Got Easier

As web-based interactions with our devices continue to evolve, Microsoft is once again nudging its customers ever so slightly toward a more integrated, holistic experience – one that emphasises users moving from the local account to Microsoft accounts. The latest move promises to reset user interactions with Windows, and it could be the final step in a plan Microsoft has been developing over the past 15 years. What is behind Microsoft’s persistent push, and why should users be encouraged to make the switch?

The Unwavering Push Towards MICROSOFT Accounts

While some users have expressed a desire to stick to local accounts — for a variety of reasons including privacy concerns and the ease of keeping everything offline — Microsoft has never shied away from its strategy to get users to adopt Microsoft accounts. Microsoft believes that Microsoft accounts can deliver a more informed and personalised user experience, as well as a more secure and unified one, over its suite of services and devices.

Benefitting from the Full MICROSOFT Ecosystem

One of the greatest benefits of a Microsoft account is that you have access to a richer ecosystem of services and products that sync between devices. You get better value out of a Microsoft account than you do out of a Google account (or at least, the better value outweighs the lack of Gmail integration). For example, OneDrive users gain an easy-to-use cloud storage solution that makes your files available anywhere. You also get better sync for settings and preferences, and have easier access to all of your Microsoft software and services.

How to Make the Switch

Microsoft has published a detailed walkthrough for those ready to make the leap from a local to a Microsoft account; it marks a departure from the usual situation, in which support resources are steeped in techno-jargon. In Windows, for example, going through your settings to ‘Accounts’ and then ‘Your info’ reveals a link to ‘Sign in with a Microsoft account instead’ that takes you down the same well-trodden path.

MICROSOFT's Strategy: A Guide to Conversion

Microsoft is not just nudging users to make the switch; it’s offering them handbooks and articles extolling the virtues of being in the Microsoft corral, such as the ease of having access to your data across devices or the inherent security of a Microsoft account.

The Resistance to Change

While Microsoft would prefer that all users move to Microsoft accounts, it’ll never completely eliminate local accounts, at least not as long as it has users who keep telling Microsoft that they’d rather not mix their Web and personal lives. Microsoft’s goal is to persuade them that having a Microsoft account – especially with features such as two-factor authentication, and a recovery process that lets you get back into your account even if you forget your password – is a step that you really do want to take.

Embracing a Connected Future with MICROSOFT

But as more software and services get knitted together into a bigger and better digital world, using a Microsoft account is going to be too important to live without. Microsoft will, I’m sure, keep improving and polishing up its offerings. Switchi...

Jun 09, 2024
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