Tablets available today are pretty rubbish at several things, but one particular one is multiple users. Tablets are often shared amongst families, and this means you all have to share the same Angry Birds high score, apps, wallpaper and more. Apple encourages you to add your email accounts to the Mail, Calendar etc. apps so you even end up sharing your private email (unless you don’t set it up, then you have to access it through the browser in a poor experience). Current tablets are made for one, but used by many.
However, Windows 8/RT devices will be different. They allow, just like traditional Windows, multiple user accounts. You sign into your device with a Microsoft or local account for the first time, and if you choose the former, all your email and more is automatically synced down. If/when you want someone else to be able to use the device, simply create a new user account for them in PC Settings. Every user has these separate things:
- Apps installed (with the exception of desktop apps)
- Desktop/start screen background/colours and patterns
- Email etc.
- High scores
- Lock screen pictures
- And more…
While the iPad does offer multi-user in some apps (e.g. Facebook) it’s not system wide.
Another feature Windows 8/RT offers is parental controls. Full-fledged parental controls. When you add another account, one check box turnsMicrosoft Family Safetyon, and by default it’s just monitoring. But you can easily set up time limits, “curfew”, website filtering and more. And you are not affected by these limits at all, because you’re on a completely separate user account. Awesome, isn’t it?
Of course, if you all want to share one user account like with the iPad, you can also do that. When setting up your PC for the first time, choose to create a local account (if you choose Microsoft account your settings, email etc. will sync down and that stuff’s not for sharing!) and call it Family tablet or something. Then just use it as you would an iPad.
So, if you want multi-users, my suggestion is wait until later this year and get a Windows RT or Windows 8 device.