Microsoft Live ID – How many do you have?

The problem of digital identity has been discussed many times by people a lot smarter than me. What frustrates me is when something seems obvious but doesn’t work that way

I have a Microsoft Live ID. I’ve had it for years and years. It’s the ID I use for Live Messenger, it’s the ID I use for my Xbox Live account, it’s also my hotmail address and it’s the account I use when taking Microsoft exams.

All these things are specific to me.

You probably already know as an IT professional you can associate your Live ID with your employers Microsoft partner profile. This helps them as their Microsoft partner status can rely on the amount of staff they have with Microsoft certifications. Also key people in the organisation can be given access to the Partner portal to manage the company relationship with Microsoft

So what’s the problem?

I recently booked some Microsoft training for myself and others at the company on the partner portal. The invoices for these are delivered via email.

When i received them the company name on the invoice correctly read “IBIT Solutions” but the invoice address was my home address

There was a problem with the invoice amount which was a priority so once this was sorted i asked about the invoice address

In the reply i was told that the invoice will be sent to the address in the my Live ID and if I wanted to change that I’d need to do it myself

I replied back to query why their system used the email address from the my Live ID and not the partner profile yet it was able to get company name ok. The reply i got back was

What I am trying to make you aware of is, when you choose to associate yourself to a company in the Microsoft Partner Programme, you can do this without using the company address – which is what you have done. It’s optional, either you use your home/private address or the company address – it’s completely up to you  – your choice.

If you would like the invoices to be sent to the company address then you will need to edit this in your individual profile to affect these changes.

Your individual profile is xxPersonalIDxx and you have associated this to a Partner in the Microsoft Partner Programm using your own address. The system recognizes you as being an individual associated to IBIT Solutions, but as I have already mentioned -  because the address field(s) are to be filled out by the individual, using either your home/private address or the same address of IBIT Solutions will result in you being sent an invoice to whatever address it is you have used to create your account with.

If you opt to enter your home address then the system will issue you with an invoice to the email account you have associated to IBIT Solutions using the address you have entered in your hotmail account (individual profile).

Of course, to avoid this you can associate xxCompanyIDxx and use this email alias to book yourself onto events and have the invoices sent to your company email account with the company address and not to your hotmail account which you have set up using your home address.


I replied back to explain that i still don’t “get it”

If i’m signed into the Partner Portal surely it’s obvious that anything I’m doing there is on behalf of the company? Why would I want an invoice to be addressed to me?

If i created a new company specific Live ID where would my Microsoft certifications sit?

If I (or any other employee) left the company they would expect to take their certifications with them as they are personal to them and they would that Live ID to associate with the new company. Surely using a company specific ID here doesn’t work?

I’d also then have two Live IDs to work with and signing in and out of anything that uses the passport network is a pain in the neck as far as i’m concerned

Just wondered how everyone else deals with this? Are you maintaining multiple Live IDs?

Are there any guidelines on how you should deal with Live ID’s when work situations and personal life are blurred (again the Certification thing, I feel is a good example)

Otherwise just let me know if i’m completely missing the point?

I was always under the impression that I’d only ever need one Live ID for signing into multiple services

The person i was swapping emails with has since said that he can see my point and will forward my query onto the relevant team so we’ll see if anything else happens

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Andy Parkes is Technical Director at Coventry based IT support company IBIT Solutions. Formerly, coordinator of AMITPRO and Microsoft Partner Area Lead for 2012-2013. He also isn't a fan of describing himself in the third person.

Latest posts by Andy Parkes (see all)

3 thoughts on “Microsoft Live ID – How many do you have?

  • Andy – I have two Live ID’s, one for work, one for personal – primarily so I can sign into Live Messenger with two different sets of “friends”.

    However my blog ( – hosted at the truly appalling Live Spaces) is published under my personal Live ID so I then get work contacts adding me as a personal “friend”. It all gets a bit confusing after that.

    I think Vlad was one of the first to suggest that within a single ID you should be able to categorise people as “Work Friend”, “On-Line Friend”, “Real Friend” and so on – so rather than having to switch ID’s, you can simply switch persona’s – i.e. I’m at work – I’m at home, etc.

    I also got off the ‘phone to MS Partner Support yesterday dealing with the address issue. Sigh.

    Reading that back, I’m actually now more confused than ever. I’ll shut up now.

  • I’ve had stuff from Microsoft sent to my personal address, I think something for MAPs once got sent there! I discovered at one point the address for Sirona was listed as my home address – useless…

    Congrats on the birth of your daughter too Andy. My wife is a week overdue with our first, also a girl. The sooner the better as far as we’re concerned!


  • Hi Andy,

    I also maintain two live ID’s for exactly the same reasons, one for work which is my work email address and my personal one for everything else.

    I even got MS to transfer all my existing subscriptions to my work email address and it has my MCP too.

    I also have different profiles for different parts of the MS site for one email address, so work stuff goes to our office, but things like my Technet Magazine go to my home address.

    Also congrats on your new arrival


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