Microsoft has decided that anyone installing Windows 11 Pro will need to create a Microsoft Account and have an active internet connection during setup. There will be no way to bypass them going forward.
Windows 11 Home users have been enduring this stipulation since last year, and it’s one of the 10 worst things about the operating system. Thankfully you could avoid it by opting to purchase Windows 11 Pro, but in the latest Windows 11 Insider Preview Build (22557), Microsoft announced Pro users are going to be subject to the same requirements.
As the build notes confirm:
“Similar to Windows 11 Home edition, Windows 11 Pro edition now requires internet connectivity during the initial device setup (OOBE) only. If you choose to setup device for personal use, MSA will be required for setup as well. You can expect Microsoft Account to be required in subsequent WIP flights.”
The change is sure to upset many users, including myself, and we’re used to hearing the usual arguments about the benefits a Microsoft Account offers. However, forcing an account to be created shouldn’t be a prerequisite for using a non-free operating system, especially when said account isn’t required for the software to function.
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Ultimately, anyone who doesn’t want a Microsoft Account, but intends to use Windows 11 Home or Pro, will end up creating a dummy account and switching it for a local account at their earliest convenience. Whatever Microsoft’s reasoning (telemetry and data gathering?), it simply ends up being a waste of time for power users.
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