Want To Install Windows 11 Pro? Soon You’ll Need An Internet Connection & A Microsoft Account

Microsoft has announced that later this year, users will be required to connect to the internet and sign-in with a Microsoft Account during the out of box setup experience on Windows 11 Pro. The news comes via a change log in the latest Windows 11 preview build:

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.

Now if you’ve got Windows 11, you needed to do this. Which is one reason why I haven’t moved my production computer to Windows 11 yet. But this is going to tick off users for the following reasons:

  • If you don’t want to use a Microsoft account to use Windows 11, and there are many who don’t, this will tick you off.
  • If you want to use Windows 11 in a completely “air-gapped” environment. Meaning that you want to set it up and use it completely off the Internet for security reasons, that’s a non-starter.

Now why don’t I want to use a Microsoft account? With my personal computers running Windows 10, I skip setting up a Microsoft Account and setup a local account instead using this workaround as this isn’t the first time Microsoft has tried something like this, and I prefer local accounts over ones that talk to Microsoft. Call me paranoid. Then I leave it like that. On the shipping build of Windows 11, it was relatively easy to bypass the internet requirement on Windows 11 Home. But in this build of Windows 11, this workaround no longer works. And seeing as this is in a development build, it means that this will make it into shipping versions of Windows sometime this year. Infuriating users in the process.

Microsoft should get ready for the blowback. Because it’s coming.

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