Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Microsoft Account Changes Arrive for Windows Live Users

While logging into Windows Live (to use the awesome Unity web apps integration), I ran into something really interesting. Remember a few months ago when Microsoft announced it was merging all of its account systems into one unified system -- the Microsoft Account?

Well it is finally coming for Windows Live users. When you visit a login page for Windows Live (I just used as an example), you will now get a refreshed screen. In addition, you will get some new metro like styling to the login page, probably to fit into its upcoming Windows 8 operating system.

In addition to this, users who load will now be pointed to a new dashboard! Here it is *supposed* to be simpler to access important account info, and change it on the fly. Of course the interface has metro styles as well.

Like I said before, this is just coming for Windows Live for right now. I'm sure that this is going to happen to other Microsoft services as well, and I'll cover it if I can discover the changes.

Go ahead and take a look at the screen shots below. I blacked out personal information for obvious reasons. Click to enlarge them.
The New Dashboard. You can access this new page using the URL in the URL bar. If you are wondering what operating system this screen shot was taken in, it was Ubuntu.
The notifications panel. Right now there is not many options, but it is pretty straight forward.
Here, you can access permissions-related stuff. You can switched to linked accounts, manage children accounts (this option shows up whether you have children accounts or not), connect accounts (such as YouTube, Facebook, etc.), and you can manage setting for connected apps and accounts.
This is the new metro like login screen. This page is specifically for SkyDrive (I'm referring to the logo), and this image was also taken with Google Chrome.
The full transition is not done yet, because clicking links such as the accounts links option will take you to still Windows Live branded pages. I'm sure this will all be changed as well, but like I said this is just now coming out.

Update: So it seems that the login page might have reverted back to normal for IE8 users. I'll have to check on this at a later time to make sure.

Here is a bigger question: Is a metro-based version of Hotmail coming? Let me know of your thoughts below.