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The biggest gift giving day of the year is quickly approaching, and as those of you lucky enough to receive a Windows 8.1 device will quickly discover, is the key to all the possibilities you can unlock on your new device.

Come Christmas morning many of you will tear open your gifts to discover a device powered by Windows 8.1, but what is the first thing you should do with it? After you unwrap it, it’s time to unlock the true power of the device, and that begins with signing up for a Microsoft account using While the chances are high you already have a Microsoft account – if you’ve signed up for Xbox Live,, SkyDrive, Skype and a few other services, you do – is the email account that will let you get the most out of the new Windows tablet or PC.

With an account attached to your device you will be able to sign into your other Microsoft services seamlessly, saving yourself time and headaches from having to remember numerous different login credentials.

One of the other big benefits of having an account attached to your Windows 8.1 device is using it in the Mail app. While you can use other email services with the app, none of them will give you the same features the one can. Features such as Sweep – which allows you to move all of the emails from a sender to a folder by opening only one of their emails – are a good example of how is innovating in the mail space. Anything that saves you time is a winner in our book. Or how about the ability to schedule an automated cleanup of your inbox? We’re all guilty of leaving some emails in our inbox far longer than we need to, but with an automated cleanup that you schedule, you can take care of some of those issues.

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What if you have multiple email addresses already? Do you really want to switch to and leave those behind? Well,if you’re using Hotmail you won’t have to as you can create an alias in and make that your primary address so you can access all of your contact info, send emails from those accounts and even login with any of them so you have an easy one to remember. If you’re using Gmail, there’s a new feature in that helps you easily import your emails and contacts from Gmail so you can make the switch to and make that your primary Microsoft account address. Once you have your account on your Windows 8.1 device, it certainly doesn’t mean that you will have to change the way you do things already.

All of this and more awaits you on your new Windows 8.1 device this holiday season when you create an account. To get even more benefits from your fresh account, after you’ve created it, even if you have other Microsoft accounts, make it your primary one and the benefits will really stack up. This also allows all of your information and accounts to stay in sync and gives you access to them on the Web, even when you’re away from your PC or tablet.

In short, creating an account may be one of the best things you do for yourself this holiday season. What are you waiting for?


This post was sponsored by Microsoft and

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