Windows 8 is all about connectedness. Whenever you use it, you’re logged in as yourself, ensuring updates and messages are delivered without you even need think about them. You can always see, at a glance, what your friends and colleagues are up to and any important messages they’ve sent.
The easiest way to start linking accounts and sharing with other people is via the Express settings that are offered when you first set up your Windows 8 account. Here, you can import contacts and emails from Hotmail, Gmail and other accounts and have Windows automatically find contacts on any subsequent social networks to which you link.
You don't have to share anything you don't want to. Windows Location Platform options in Windows 8 custom Settings menu lets you specify whether other users’ locations are requested as well as whether yours is displayed.
You can share all sorts of things simply by linking your accounts. If you have a Flickr account or a Twitter feed, these can easily be associated with the Windows Live account that you use for everything in Windows 8. Once the accounts are linked, feeds for each of them show up in the Metro interface in Windows. So once your Facebook albums have been linked, you'll see any photo albums you've created on that site in the Photos tile. Windows 8 automatically updates the photo library you create from the Pictures folder on the desktop.
Similarly, clicking on the Metro People tile takes you to status updates from friends on Twitter and Facebook.
What's more, if you have friends who you follow or chat to through more than one social network, you'll see icons for the others next to their profile photos. LinkedIn users can see each other through their Facebook accounts, for example.
How to use Windows 8 with social media
Step 1: To make the most of Windows 8 connected features, import your contacts from your email accounts and your chat sessions. You can do this when you first set up Windows 8.
Step 2: Once the email address you use to log in to your Windows 8 account has been verified, Microsoft gives you the option to import from an Outloook or CSV file, link your Hotmail account and to associate other webmails accounts such as Gmail.
Step 3: You can also connect any instant messaging accounts you may have, such as MSN, plus your Facebook, Flickr and Twitter accounts. For each, simply enter the email address and password you use for that account, tell Windows you want to go ahead and connect the accounts and confirm it with the other app.
Step 4: With Facebook you get an overview of the information you’ll be able to access from your account and the details you’ll share with friends. You have the opportunity to review and edit your sharing preferences by enabling and disabling any with which you’re uncomfortable, before clicking to proceed with the Windows Live and Facebook connection.
Step 5: Once your accounts are connected you’ll notice that your Facebook photo albums (assuming you chose to be able to view them this way) appear in the Photos pane of Windows 8’s home screen. You can now view your albums as you would any other photo collections stored locally or on a third-party service such as Flickr.
Step 6: To view your own and other people’s updates in Windows 8, click on your user name in the Messaging pane. You'll see the three most recent Facebook status updates. To the right appear any comments or notifications from friends. To see their updates, click the What’s new option at the top of the screen.
Step 7: Click the 'All' option to view your list of Facebook friends plus options to add people to your contacts. You can also connect to other social media services such as LinkedIn and Twitter. As with Facebook, you should read the privacy statement before proceeding by pressing Connect. Enter your Twitter or LinkedIn account details, then simply scroll down to the Authorise app option.
Step 8: You can flick between your social media accounts by clicking their respective icons at the bottom of the screen. The All button below your photo shows the personal details you’re sharing from that account. Click on My Profile for an overview of your connected services and privacy settings.