Day 3 of the 30 Days with Surface Pro experiment is all about just turning the Surface Pro tablet on, and getting logged in to Windows 8.

Microsoft offers the option of logging in with a Local account–a user profile that exists only on the one PC its created on. But, Microsoft clearly expects users to log in to Windows 8 with a Microsoft ID, and that is really where much of the value of Windows 8 lies. Logging in with a Local account rather than a Microsoft ID is like buying a car that only has a one gallon gas tank and only drives in first gear, when you could have had a very capable sports coupe for the same money.

When you log in with a Microsoft ID, you get a variety of benefits. Without it, many of the core apps on the Windows 8 Start (Modern, Metro, etc.) screen won’t work. It connects your profile to your SkyDrive account, and offers SkyDrive as an option for accessing or storing files throughout the OS. If you use more than one Windows 8 PC, logging in with a Microsoft ID also keeps settings and stored passwords in sync between them so you don’t have to manually configure everything on each PC.

Read Surface Pro, Day 3: Logging in to Windows for the full story on my experience setting up Windows 8 on the Surface Pro for the first time.

About the Author

I’m a Houston-based independent analyst, marketing consultant and writer. I follow news and trends across all facets of technology, and help people understand how the changing tech landscape affects them. I work with businesses to identify market opportunities and develop effective content marketing strategies to take advantage of them. I’ve worked in the trenches as an information security consultant, an IT manager and a marketing executive. That real world experience gives me a unique point of view that lets me see things from the business perspective. I’ve been a CISSP for 13 years, and I’ve been recognized by Microsoft as an MVP for 8 consecutive years. When I’m not working with technology, I’m a husband and father who loves mountains, oceans, football and golf. You can contact me directly at [email protected] For more from me, you can follow me on Twitter, subscribe to me on Facebook or add me to your Circles on Google+.

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  • Pratyush Nalam

    The screenshot is of the Consumer Preview. Why god why?

    • Tony Bradley

      I just chose an image of Windows 8 for illustration. Whether it’s the Consumer Preview version or not isn’t relevant to the content of the post.

      • Rod Trent

        Apparently not, and I have to agree