Early build of Windows 8 screenshots leaked – shows Windows Live ID integration

Remember last year when we revealed a few slides on Windows 8 which showed that Microsoft’s next operating system might be getting cloud-based identity and roaming settings? It appears that the screenshots of an early build of Windows 8 that had been leaked around the web recently are confirm this information. Check out the screenshots below, leaked by Win7China.com (via Neowin.net):

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As highlighted in red above, Win7China.com revealed that the user’s Windows Live ID display picture will be shown on the Windows taskbar. Once the user is logged in with their Windows Live ID into Windows 8, their user settings and preferences will be synchronised across various different devices across their internet, provided they’re logged into the same account on these devices.

Of course, this idea of identity and user settings roaming is not new. Windows 7 already supports users to link their Windows Live ID to their Windows 7 user account, however the linkage doesn’t offer much at the moment. Currently, users can already roam their Internet Explorer and Office settings between their PCs using Windows Live Mesh. Of course, with the integration of Windows Live ID built right into Windows 8, Microsoft could take this idea to the next level, possibly offering APIs for developers to take advantage of this roaming settings feature for their own applications. Seems like Windows is going "all in" with the cloud!