I must admit that I’m a little disappointed with Windows 8.
I had hoped, like Microsoft, that its Metro interface would be a huge step forward and make things easier for users. Sadly, from what I have witnessed since its launch this is not the case and many users, both experienced and new to PCs, are a little confused with the two interface structure of the Windows 8 Metro and the backend Desktop.
One area that is extremely confusing is the new option of logging into your PC with either an online Microsoft Account or a local PC account.
When setting up a new PC Windows 8 will lead you towards configuring an online account as Microsoft want you to login to their networks. However, if you look there is also an option on the screen to ignore this and use a local account, in the fashion of traditional Windows account.
Sadly though, if you opt for a local account then you are limiting the benefit of Windows 8 as to download, update and, in some cases, use the front end Metro Apps you need to login to the Microsoft Store with your newly created Microsoft account. So for the average user it actually makes more sense to create a Microsoft account, whether you like it or not (grrr).
Btw: before Apple users start sprouting off about this restriction your Apple technology is no different when apps are concerned. Microsoft have merely copied the AppleMAC iTunes Store model.
Now to the problem mentioned in the title.
In the past few weeks I have had two clients with a similar problem. The first an experienced user the second totally new to computers.
Both clients created a Microsoft account for their new laptops and both successfully logged in. Sadly however the new verification process let them down.
When you create your new account you are prompted to use your main email as the Microsoft login. In the case of both of these clients they had non-Microsoft email accounts, one with BT and the other with MyPostOffice.
As part of the account creation process Microsoft send a certification email to the email address specified with a link to verify that you are that email account owner. In the case of both clients this verification email arrived but the verification link reported that the verification service was temporarily unavailable.
After chasing shadows for a while and requesting mulitple re-sends of the verification email, all of which fialed to verify, I found the following fixes…
For the first client the problem was addressed by changing the online Microsoft Account password and having the verification email re-sent.
To change the password go to… https://account.live.com/ResetPassword.aspx
Enter your login (email address) and current password and then change it.
Sadly this did not work for the second client and no matter what I tried it refused to verify his MyPostOffice account. Finally, I resorted to creating a new Hotmail email address, deleted the old User from the PC via the Control panel and re-registeried the PC to the new Microsoft Account using the new hotmail email.
Once this was done everything burst into life and all was well. However, a few days later an email arrived requesting that the client login to Hotmail on a browser to verify the account. All well and good if you are used to using PCs but this set the client, who was completely new to PCs, into a panic and I had to login remotely and take him through it.
In fact, the experience with this client illustrated perfectly that Windows 8 does not do what it says and is NOT simpler to use for novices. This client has called me five times since with problems that just didn’t make sense to him
Also, when we look at what happened to this individual, after being excited about his new laptop and following the instructions for setup on screen, he was left with a system that, due to the inability to verify the account details, would not run most of the Metros apps ad 28!! needed updating and could not be updated becuase he needed to login to the Store, which, in turn, he could not do because his Microsoft Account would not verify.
Poor devil didn’t stand a chance!