Windows 8 User Account Roaming, Cloud Authentication Revealed


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Another new Windows 8 feature was revealed yesterday, likely as a result of “playing around” with the leaked Windows 8 Milestone release. Roaming options are integrated into the operating system, which apparently are only available for users who have linked the operating system to an online account. It is very likely that Windows Live will be used for that purpose by Microsoft. This plays well into the rumor that users may use email addresses to log into the operating system.

The Roaming Options configuration page is a subpage of the User Accounts control panel applet in Windows 8. It reads:

When you use your connected password to log on to different computers and devices, the personal settings you care about will travel with you and automatically be available”


Here is the data that gets synced:
Language Settings
Application Settings
Windows Settings

This basically means that you can use your desktop backgrounds, configurations and preferences when you log on to other Windows 8 systems that have the roaming options enabled.

Network options at the bottom indicate that roaming can be disabled on paid networks and low bandwidth networks. It will be interesting to see how Microsoft manages to distinguish those from standard connections.

Cloud syncing is a big usability improvement, especially for users who work on multiple Windows boxes, and users who sometimes work on computer systems that are not their own. Especially the option to sync the language settings could be interesting for people who travel a lot.

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