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How To Create a Windows Live Account

written by: Brian Nelson•edited by: Rebecca Scudder•updated: 10/30/2008

Microsoft’s Live Services initiative is producing some great services that you want to take advantage of. To use any of them, though, you’ll need a Windows Live Account. You can be up and running in minutes.

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    Windows Live

    If you are used to going to to get your Microsoft fix, you’ll want to get used to a new destination. Yes, you can link back to the various Live services via the corporate home page, but the quicker route is direct to besides, it's shorter to type.

    Keep in mind that although all the Live Services tie together, the Live Search is setup to be more like Google’s sparse home page, so all the action takes place a click away at Windows Live. On the Windows Live page, you’ll see a basic layout with links to most of the services Microsoft offers through the Windows Live platform. There is no big “SIGN UP HERE” link. Instead, just click Sign In. On the sign in screen, you’ll find a button that says “Sign up.” That’s where you go.

    Other Microsoft Accounts

    If you already have an account with another Microsoft service, you actually already have a Windows Live ID. So, if you have a Passport or MSN account, or even a Hotmail or Messenger account, you can use that username and password as your Windows Live ID. If you want a new ID, just go through the sign up procedure to create another sign in.

    The sign up form is your standard basic information entry form. The only real choice you want to make is whether to use an email address you already have, or if you want to create a Windows Live email address. If you don’t want another email address, just use the one you already have. On the other hand, it is free, and it isn’t like you have to use it a minimum amount, so consider going ahead and signing up for a Windows Live email address. You can always set it to forward the email to your “real” email address if you want to.

    Windows Live email addresses can be either addresses, or addresses. I’d go with It sounds a little better, doesn’t have the “old” sound of hotmail, and it is shorter to type, which is a huge bonus if you start using your Live account on your mobile phone or PDA.

    The rest is all standard, name, rank, serial number. If you do enter an alternate email address, it will make resetting your password a lot easier if you forget it, so if you already have an email address you use, enter it here. Once you click accept, you are ready to go, and the world of Windows Live Services is at your finger tips.

    Your Windows Live ID is also your key to the CashBack and SearchPerks programs.