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.