Switching to Windows 8? Read this before you fire up any game apps!

So I took the plunge and installed Windows 8 on my laptop today. Windows 8 allows you to log into your device using a Microsoft Account (formerly called a Windows Live Account). I had one I created back when outlook.com opened up, so I logged in. Everything was going great.

Then I downloaded a free game app, Jetpack Joyride. As soon as I started it up, Windows 8 announced that it had generated a temporary gamertag for my Microsoft Account.

Ha, I hadn’t even been thinking about Xbox Live. I do have an Xbox Live account of course, but it’s associated with a different Windows Live Account.

I did some research and I can “migrate” my gamertag from one email address to another, so I decided to migrate my ‘real’ Xbox Live Gamer Tag to the Microsoft Account I’m using on Windows 8. But I can’t, because now there’s already a gamertag associated with that account. So first I have to migrate the gamertag that Windows auto-generated for me off to another Microsoft account. This is an account I’m creating just for this purpose. Dumb right?

But wait! It gets worse. Since my temporary gamertag was just created today, I can’t migrate it for 30 days. You can only move these things once every 30 days.

So basically I have to wait 30 days before I’m willing to buy any gaming apps from the Windows 8 store, because if I do so before then they’ll be associated with this gamertag I’m trying my best to throw away.

I’m generally happy with Windows 8 so far, but MS really blew it with this one detail. I can’t believe they don’t prompt the user before generating a gamertag….

If you only have one Microsoft account this won’t impact you, but I’m sure I’m not the only one that had an old cruddy hotmail account for my Xbox Live account and would rather use a swanky new outlook.com account for my new system.

6 thoughts on “Switching to Windows 8? Read this before you fire up any game apps!

  1. Not completely related but partially I think.. I noticed that Raptr was having issues connecting to my XBox account (and I had recently gotten a new Outlook.com address instead of my crummy hotmail.com one) – so I connected to xbox live via my new outlook address instead of hotmail, worked just fine.

  2. This is a great tip and something to be aware of. Funnily enough, I had the exact same problem years ago, with Games For Windows Live and XBox Live. I created a GFWL acount initially, because working at Microsoft I was granted a copy of Halo 2 for the PC – one of like, 4 PC titles ever actually created for GFWL. I created my account. Then, shortly later, I created an XBox Live account, and for some reason, completely unbeknownst to me, the GFWL tags and XBox Live tags were linked, and I coudln’t create my XBox Live account with the tag that I wanted. Which is why.. to this day.. my Gamertag is Dlangar360.. >.>

  3. Could you do a reinstall and start over using the gamertag you want or is your faux gamertag tied to your Windows key?

  4. I could log into my account (on the PC) with my old hotmail account, which I think would create a new user on the system. I’d just prefer using a more ‘professional’ email on this machine.

    None of this is earth shattering or anything since I snagged a free game. It’s just an annoyance. Of course if I’d purchased a game it’d be slightly more irksome since I’d have to either eat the cost of it or forever maintain two gamertags.

  5. I spent the last two evenings seriously considering whether to run out and purchase a new laptop now while there are still Window 7 machines in the distribution channels. We’re mostly settled on punting and buying a macbook instead. Worse for gaming, but it won’t be my primary or even secondary machine (two gaming desktops) and honestly my last gaming laptop experience was so bad that I’m not convinced I’m giving up much.

  6. A little-known fact: if you have a Pro version of any Windows OS, you get automatic downgrade rights to the previous 2 versions. Only with the Pro version, though. Windows 8 Home users have to upgrade to Pro, then they are fully licensed for Win 7 Pro and Vista Business.

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