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Microsoft Account vs Google Account


Brand new Surface 3 (4gb), first experience with Windows 8.1. I've been committed to the Google 'ecosystem,' and rely on Chrome, Google Drive, and GMail, which works remarkably well for me, to keep things (email, bookmarks, contacts, other documents) synced between my Windows Vista Desktop, and Android Note 3 phone. I also have a DropBox account to auto-sync photos from my phone.

Enter Windows 8.1 and OneDrive with the S3. When I started it the first time, I created a Microsoft Account, but didn't let it default to OneDrive to sync basically everything. I opened the Mail App on the Start Screen, entered my GMail account info, selected syncing everything, not just 30 days worth (personal preference). Seems to work OK, although getting it to unflag some emails seemed glitchy. It synced my contacts, etc.

But unless there's a compelling reason to do otherwise, I'd like to go the Chrome/Google/Gmail route, to match and sync with everything on my Vista Desktop and Android phone. I've read that Chrome can be problematic at times on the S3, but hopefully it's not a deal-killer.

I don't want to duplicate everything and take up unnecessary storage, with a copy of all my email and contacts through the Microsoft ecosystem, and another set through Google. And I do want to continue to use DropBox for photos, and some other documents I sync through that account.

With that Introduction, I'm looking for some general information and perspective on how to bring this all together. Do I really need/want this Microsoft Account on my S3? Can it be used without one? How do I avoid the duplication issue I referred to?

Any links or information on getting all of this efficiently integrated would be appreciated.