Windows 11 Pro users will soon need a Microsoft account during initial setup, latest preview...

Humza

Posts: 1,008   +170
Staff member
The big picture: Microsoft seems to be kicking things into high gear with Windows 11 updates, following a slew of new features in the latest Insider preview. However, what most PC users are going to want to know with build 22557 is that Microsoft has also added a new requirement of signing up with an MSA (Microsoft Account) during initial device setup (OOBE) for both Windows 11 Home and Pro. It used to be that the latter, more expensive version would allow users to set up a local account while also being offline, but Microsoft says that even personal use of the OS will be subject to these requirements in the future.

It’s important to note that not all decisions Microsoft makes in an Insider build end up in an official Windows release, but the requirement for an internet connection and an MSA during initial install seems quite likely to ship as part of a future update. This means that first-time Windows 11 installs will have fewer ‘Skip for now’ buttons in the future, or probably none at all.

While the move will likely disrupt a lot of IT admin workflows, especially during fleet deployments with Windows 11, even personal users have their reasons for not wanting to sign up with a Microsoft account when installing Windows.

Microsoft tightening the noose around Windows 11 could force users to go with an older version, or perhaps look for alternatives

Although features like cross-device sync, find my device, access to the Windows Store and OneDrive storage are only made possible with an MSA, concerns around data collection, privacy and being tied to Microsoft’s ecosystem are among the primary reasons why some users prefer to go with a local account.

It’s also more convenient to set up a PC with a local account if you’re doing it for a family member, handing over/selling your machine to another user, or simply don’t have access to the internet. Microsoft hasn’t specified when this requirement will go live in an official release, but it noted that subsequent Windows 11 Insider flights following the release of Preview build 22557 can be expected to require an MSA.

Latest build adds folders to the Start Menu, redesigned Task Manager, Folder Previews under File Explorer, and deeper Outlook integration

With this latest build, the OS has also received plenty of new and returning features such as the ability to create folders in the Start menu (under Pinned apps), focus and do not disturb modes, and live captions. The refreshed, tab-free Task Manager is here, too, with its dark theme and a new ‘Efficiency mode’ that lets users limit the consumption of a power-hungry process for improved responsiveness and energy efficiency.

Additionally, the File Explorer has received a few tweaks with OneDrive integration, the addition of folder previews, and an improved Quick access panel that can now also list/pin files, in addition to folders. Outlook users, meanwhile, can now instantly compose an email from within the file share window.

Default values for Sleep and Screen off have been changed to reduce power consumption, and there's a new battery charging and cast icon in the Task bar

Other UI/UX enhancements include new touch gestures, more responsive screen rotation behavior and menus, better snap layouts and transition animations, as well as an improved task viewer (Alt+Tab). Usability of the Taskbar has also been enhanced with the much-needed drag and drop feature that comes with new visual indicators.

Another highly requested feature is the HDR calibration app from Xbox, which Microsoft says is coming soon to Windows. There’s also a new ‘Optimizations’ feature in this build that’s meant to improve latency and enable Auto HDR and Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) for windowed games.

Moreover, results under Windows search should now appear faster and more accurate. The build also includes several minor tweaks for the Settings app and improved network security with the requirement of at least a WPA2 connection (TKIP and WEP won’t be allowed). There’s also plenty of fixes in the latest preview related to Settings, Taskbar, File Explorer, Input, and Networking, among other components as detailed in Microsoft's official blog post.

Permalink to story.

 

Jblazsek

Posts: 73   +13
Well you should have an MS account to log in. It helps if you makes changes to your PC so you don't have to call MS because you have activation issues. Plus almost a necessity if you have the Pro version. Especially upgrade from Home to Pro. It will as for you bitlocker key the first time. That is saved with you account if you login with it.
 

yRaz

Posts: 4,424   +5,169
Well you should have an MS account to log in. It helps if you makes changes to your PC so you don't have to call MS because you have activation issues. Plus almost a necessity if you have the Pro version. Especially upgrade from Home to Pro. It will as for you bitlocker key the first time. That is saved with you account if you login with it.
Why is using software you pay for MORE DIFFICULT than using a pirated version? I could upgrade to windows 11 pro for free, but I won't. And if I ever have to, I will upgrade my license but still use a cracked copy because it is MINE, I paid for it and I should have the right to use it how I please.

I know I'm beating a dead horse talking about Linux all the time, but what options do we actually have at this point? If people paid for a pro-license just so they didn't have to have a Microsoft account and now MS back tracked on that, what happens now?

I have legal keys for windows 7, 8.1 and 10 and I use cracked copies of all of them just because of this crap.

With developers like Valve actively developing Linux and Linux content, MS can't play fast and loose with their OS anymore. I give it 5 years and Linux will be Windows XP level ease of use for "normie" users
 

eforce

Posts: 957   +1,373
So what if I don't make an account? Will I be locked out of my device after an update?

If not then using an old ISO to install W11 Pro will work.
 

Bullwinkle M

Posts: 709   +601
what options do we actually have at this point?

2 options come to mind....

InControl by GRC
https://www.grc.com/freepopular.htm

It lets you keep your current version of Windows 11 forever and still get security updates

or....

I run Windows2Go which does the same thing
It prevents major version downgrades (aka upgrades) while still getting security updates

I'm running Windows 11 Pro (2 Go) on a Sandy Bridge right now
 
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Dimitriid

Posts: 2,210   +4,248
2 options come to mind....

InControl by GRC
https://www.grc.com/freepopular.htm

It lets you keep your current version of Windows 11 forever and still get security updates

or....

I run Windows2Go which does the same thing
It prevents major version downgrades (aka upgrades) while still getting security updates

I'm running Windows 11 Pro (2 Go) on a Sandy Bridge right now
Actually before those 2 options the first one should be simple: Install/Remain on 10. There's nothing wrong with it (Well there is, but nothing that's also not either present or far worst on 11) and it's going to be a while before key features are sequestered away to Windows 11
 

mountains

Posts: 65   +75
This latest decision by MS is unfathomable! Come on users, don't bend over for this! If we put up a fight they won't do it. Sure, maybe there are temporary workarounds (not a sure thing), but now is the time for us to push back!

This is crossing a red line.
 

Bullwinkle M

Posts: 709   +601
Actually before those 2 options the first one should be simple: Install/Remain on 10. There's nothing wrong with it (Well there is, but nothing that's also not either present or far worst on 11) and it's going to be a while before key features are sequestered away to Windows 11
Well yes, there is plenty wrong with Windows 10 as well as Windows 11

However, Windows 11 Pro (to Go) on my Sandy Bridge was activated from a Windows 10 Licensed machine

I still have Windows 10 AND Windows 11 running from a single license
on two separate machines

In fact, I have already shown that Windows 11 (to Go) will run on several different online PC's at the same time without deactivating and they still get updates

Windows 11 (to Go) will remain in testing on my ancient hardware until Microsoft can break it
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 2,210   +4,248
Well yes, there is plenty wrong with Windows 10 as well as Windows 11

However, Windows 11 Pro (to Go) on my Sandy Bridge was activated from a Windows 10 Licensed machine

I still have Windows 10 AND Windows 11 running from a single license
on two separate machines

In fact, I have already shown that Windows 11 (to Go) will run on several different online PC's at the same time without deactivating and they still get updates

Windows 11 (to Go) will remain in testing on my ancient hardware until Microsoft can break it
That's actually a fairly interesting set up you've got there
 

hahahanoobs

Posts: 4,454   +2,419
I input my account for activation and Edge sync etc, so no big deal. If I boycotted every app that tracked me I'd have to sell my electronics for an Etch-a-Sketch or Lego.

Not being able to install without internet might be a problem if Windows doesn't have your NIC driver. Windows 10 doesn't have mine, but Windows 11 does so I don't know.
 

psycros

Posts: 4,155   +5,798
I input my account for activation and Edge sync etc, so no big deal. If I boycotted every app that tracked me I'd have to sell my electronics for an Etch-a-Sketch or Lego.

Not being able to install without internet might be a problem if Windows doesn't have your NIC driver. Windows 10 doesn't have mine, but Windows 11 does so I don't know.

I can't think of single application that isn't meant expressly for online use (streaming, online game, etc.) that requires me to be connected in order to run it. I'm not talking about the initial activation, because most commercial programs require online license verification, but just day-to-day usage. I realize there are a number of (usually expensive) programs that DO require you to connect every single time you run them, but I avoid those as should anyone with an ounce of self-respect. Thankfully there are always alternatives to software that requires an Internet connection for no valid reason.
 

Jblazsek

Posts: 73   +13
So what if I don't make an account? Will I be locked out of my device after an update?

If not then using an old ISO to install W11 Pro will work.
Not it says during initial setup so if you already have Windows 11 you won't be affected.
 

BigRedPDX

Posts: 271   +191
As a PC repair guy, this would be a big problem. No one wants to have to ask a customer for their email login credentials just to setup windows.
I was about to type a similar reply. I'm sitting at my work currently trying to comprehend how I would go about fixing the machines in my law firm. I might have to go with my AD admin account and use that on all the machine prior to setting up the restricted AD user accounts. That's the only way I can see this working correctly.
 

BadThad

Posts: 1,039   +1,193
What a crock of $&!#! I don't want a MS account and never needed one for any reason. So, how is the user with a PC not connected to the internet supposed to function? It's a VERY poor assumption that every computer is connected - I have 4 PCs at work that are critical and completely unconnected and NEVER will be as they run critical lab instruments. This is little more than a power grab by MS!
 

BadThad

Posts: 1,039   +1,193
As a PC repair guy, this would be a big problem. No one wants to have to ask a customer for their email login credentials just to setup windows.

EXACTLY! I don't want ANY user credentials when I'm working on a customer PC. I ask customers to remove any Windows PW's before they bring their machine to me so I can get in.