If you noticed this new Windows 7 feature named Link online IDs in User Accounts in Control Panel, have you ever wondered what this really is and what it can do for us? It was designed to seamlessly integrates your online account, such as email address, with your Windows user account to provide a more smooth user experience.
Typically, linking an online ID with your Windows user account is a two-part process.
First, add an Online ID Provider
1. Open User Account from Control Panel, and click on Link online IDs from the left hand list.
2. Click Add an Online ID Provider link, if you don’t have one listed. It opens Windows 7 online ID providers web page that lists the authorized provider for you to use. Too bad, so far, only Windows Live ID provider available there.
Then, link your id with the ID provider
Simply click Link online ID link, which pops up Windows Live sign up window.
Put in your windows live account and sign in. Once it’s done, it’s all hooked up.
So, what can we benefit from it?
One, people can share files with you over a homegroup network using your online ID instead of having to create a different Windows user account for you on their computer.
Two, you can also use your online ID to access your information on other computers on a network. For example, access files saved on a home computer from your work computer.
Third, you can seamlessly access your data saved in the cloud directly from your application on your computer. For example, you can access your files saved on SkyDrive directly from Office 2010.
Linking your online IDs with your windows user account is a useful feature, I particularly like the idea accessing the cloud data right from the application, but doesn’t seem to draw much of the attention from the public. It is also in its infant stage that requires more work to get more useful, if Microsoft decides to extend this idea. At least, a linked online ID needs to be integrated with more applications in a way that people won’t even notice it.