When Windows Phone initially launched there were some of us who simply used our existing Hotmail Accounts to sign into the phone. Problem was that some had the account set for the wrong geographic region creating a fair amount of issues.
At that time it was nigh impossible to change the region of the account and thus forced many into a situation where a new account was in need to be created. As our Xbox Live ID or Microsoft Account has become central in everything we do now things have eased somewhat and through a lengthy six week process it has been possible to change region via customer services. Not ideal.
That could all be about to changes as Microsoft is currently piloting an online service to get this done much more rapidly.
Just so it’s clear, these issues would mainly affect folks who would be moving to another country or as mentioned before if they had an old account that was set to be US or some other country. In the past you would simply have needed to say goodbye to all that was associated with your account and create a new one.
With the new service this is what you’ll be able to bring along
- Your Gamerscore, unlocked achievements and the rest of your Xbox LIVE Profile
- Any Microsoft Points already in your account
- Any remaining time on your Gold membership
Things that cannot move include
- Some services specific to your region, things like TV providers or similar.
- Xbox Music subscription will be cancelled any remaining time cannot be refunded.
- Some content might be blocked in the new region because of legal obligations or regional restrictions. Before you change you region make sure you’ve downloaded any purchased content you want to keep, like movies or music. Content purchases aren’t refundable.
Now that Microsoft has targeted the consumer market it is interesting to watch how quickly they are putting to right issues that have dogged users for many years. It is this kind of direct contact with consumers which should help the company understand and rectify real issues.
Previously Microsoft had almost no direct contact with its user base, instead relying on retailers to do the work. Now that the company has physical stores and a real consumer focus there simply isn’t anywhere to hide.
As the service is in testing much of this could change but it is good to see Microsoft finally address one of the key issues with their accounts process. As we rely more on our Microsoft Account to use services such as Xbox LIVE, SkyDrive and the rest of these important services the need for more flexibility increases.
We certainly welcome this change as major step towards making consumers lives easier and hope that this is a sign of better things to come.
We would like to hear from you if you have gone through the process of regional migration of your account. What else would you like to see Microsoft address as it gets in touch with consumers? Do let us know in comments below.