Sponsored by Microsoft. As a promotional post, this post reflects the views of the writer, not ReadWrite’s editors.

You wouldn’t give an electric train without batteries, would you? Don’t let the tech fan on your holiday gift list wonder what to do next with their shiny new Windows device. Give them the best experience possible—make sure they sign up for an Outlook.com account.

There will be a lot of new gadgets powering up for the first time this holiday season. Consumer electronics was the No. 2 choice for consumers during the Black Friday weekend, or so says the National Retail Federation.

While it’s important to find that perfect tablet for your loved one, or unbox a new laptop for yourself, it’s just as important to get the best Windows experience right from the start. We’ll be listing a few tips and tricks in this article that you can share. You might even print out this article and put it in the box so they have the instructions handy upon opening their new device.

Power Up, Get Going

Opening up a new tech gadget is like getting the keys to a new car. The sleek design, the smooth feel, the fresh smell. You can hardly wait to take it for a test drive.

When you turn your device on for the first time, the prompt will automatically ask if you would like to sign in with your Microsoft account or create a new one. This account is the key that unlocks your whole world of apps and services. 

If you’ve used Microsoft products like Xbox, Outlook.com or Hotmail, SkyDrive, Skype, or Windows Phone, then you already have a Microsoft account. This is the email address you sign in with. If this is your first time using a Microsoft product or if you want to start fresh, then the best option is to create a new profile.

For my money, I absolutely recommend creating your profile using an Outlook.com account. If you already have a Hotmail address, you can add an @outlook.com email address to your existing account and make that your primary Microsoft account. If you don’t have any Microsoft account, you can sign up for a new Outlook.com email address and use that.

Either way, using Outlook.com as your Microsoft account easily connects you to other Microsoft services: Mail, Calendar, Skype and People.

You can get access to all of these services on multiple devices, which makes it perfect for checking email on the go, chatting with an old friend on Skype, or uploading photos to your SkyDrive account.

The Center Of Your Internet Experience

Your Outlook.com account can also be the central location for all of your other webmail accounts, including Gmail, Yahoo, or Hotmail. It’s super easy and fast to make the switch with the new import tool in Outlook.com.

Using Outlook.com as your primary Microsoft account has other benefits as well. You can view content from Facebook and Twitter. The “Sweep” feature lets you clear out old versions of email when a new one comes in. You can also manage access to your Microsoft devices from Outlook.com to allow you to login quickly or even revoke access if a device is lost or stolen.

Once you’ve made the switch to Outlook.com, all you need to do is make your Outlook.com email your primary Microsoft account—and you and the people on your holiday gift list are all set to get the most out of your new device.

Sponsored by Microsoft. As a promotional post, this post reflects the views of the writer, not ReadWrite’s editors.