"Microsoft account" is the new name for what used to be called a "Windows Live ID." Your Microsoft account is the combination of an email address and a password that you use to sign in to services like Hotmail, Messenger, SkyDrive, Windows Phone, Xbox LIVE, or Outlook.com. Over time, all Microsoft services will be switching from the old name to the new one. You might continue to see mentions of "Windows Live ID" instead of "Microsoft account" for a while.

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