Windows 8 Syncs Settings Between Systems Using Windows Live IDby Andrew Cunningham on September 26, 2011 5:00 PM EST
Today on the Building Windows 8 blog, Katie Frigon explains how user settings, Metro apps purchased through the Windows app store, and other data can be synced across Windows 8 devices using a Windows Live ID.
When setting up a new or reloaded Windows 8 device, you're given an opportunity to sign in with a (or create a new) Windows Live ID. Windows will then create a user profile with that username, and can sync various settings including your lock screen picture, desktop background bookmarks and browser history, and various other settings to the cloud and between devices.
A new Control Panel gives users control over exactly what is synced, and IT administrators will also be able to determine whether users can link their domain accounts with Windows Live IDs (and the kinds of data the users can sync). Data synced to Microsoft's servers is encrypted using SSL/TLS, and that new devices associated with your Windows Live ID must be confirmed before they can access your sync data. The post also notes that local accounts and domain accounts can continue to function just as they always have, if desired.
These changes are mostly consumer-oriented, and mirror moves by Apple and Google (among others) to sync data between different devices using a central account. For more information (and, as always, there's plenty more), check out the post on the Building Windows 8 blog.
Source: Building Windows 8 Blog