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Microsoft account is a single sign-on Web service provided by Microsoft Corporation that enables a user to access a suite of propriety and supported third-party online services and applications. A Microsoft account permits and grants access to a registered and legitimate user on Microsoft Live supported websites, services and applications.
The Microsoft account was formerly associated with the Microsoft Wallet, Microsoft Passport, .NET Passport and Microsoft Passport Network of online services.
A Microsoft account is the most basic and essential way to access Microsoft-owned and powered online services. It is available free of charge to all users globally and comes bundled with various services and applications. The username as well as the password for this account can be new, or use an existing Microsoft email ID from Hotmail, MSN, Live or other Microsoft specific email accounts. Once the user is signed in to the account, he or she can access emails, and online office applications, download desktop or mobile applications, and use other available services. Moreover, Microsoft also uses its accounts to calculate, track, record and evaluate the number of users on the service and their activities, as well as other consumer data.
With the launch of the Windows 8 OS in October 2012, users can log on from their devices directly using a Microsoft account, allowing them to access different services and download applications from Microsoft remotely.