Saturday, July 15, 2006

Microsoft LiveID Review....Problems Abound!!!

Ok recently I decided to test drive some of Microsoft's new services. While some show potential they all have one very major problem. They require you to permanently convert your Microsoft passport to a Windows LiveID. This at first does not seem like a bad idea.....until you try to change your primary email address or as Microsoft calls it EASI (Email as Sign In). You see like the Passport the LiveID allows you to use your own email address instead of a hotmail address. However unlike a Passport the LiveID does not allow you to change that email at a later date. This in itself would be a minor annoyance if it was not for the fact that the LiveID allows for no way to transfer services to another Passport. For example your XBOX Gamertag per Microsoft Knowledge Base article 906926 is permanently liked to a Passport. Another major problem is that Microsoft is also using the Passport for billing and guess what you are not able to delete your credit card once it has been put on file. So in a nutshell your credit card info could be exposed if say you move to a different ISP and your old email address gets reused. That person goes to create a new passport and the system would tell them it already exist and offer the password recovery feature and bingo they have a passport with your credit card info. This would not have been a problem if you had the option to change your primary email!!! In my case I am an original XBOX live subscriber and we were required to enter a credit card we can't delete the new XBOX 360 people were not. But those of us that already existed were out in the cold. My other problem is my MSDN account. I have not even researched that issue yet but I assume I will get the same answer I got on the Gamertag. Microsoft must allow for us to change our Primary e-Mail or they open us up to fraud. Per Microsoft documentation its it not the primary key on the passport anyway apparently that is a 64 bit Unique ID. Honestly if I had known converting would cause this much of an issue I would have never considered using any of the services. Honestly I think for someone that has over $10,000 of subscription services with Microsoft changing a primary email should not be an issue!

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