Windows 11 will require a Microsoft Account for all installations

Windows 11 will require a Microsoft Account

A new update from Microsoft confirms Windows 11 will require a Microsoft Account for installation, a first for the software giant since its original release.

News that Windows 11 will require a Microsoft Account was found in the change log for the Windows 11 insider preview build 22557 (via Tom’s Guide).

“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 update reads.

It’s worth noting that Windows 11 Home users have had to connect to the internet and sign into a Microsoft Account during installation – however now this policy is being applied to Windows 11 Pro, thus forcing higher education and corporate users to jump through the new hurdle.

The new feature that Windows 11 will require a Microsoft Account is being tested now on the Windows 11 preview builds track, but already has users and most especially IT personnel concerned. Some machines are imaged or have a basic copy of Windows installed with no internet access, or perhaps it’s a complicated build with a prickly driver installation.

Naturally, there’s also a concern with privacy that some users have had since the release of Windows 10 – cementing your Windows operating system to a Microsoft Account essentially gives them free reign to collect your personal data – browsing and whatnot – to potentially advertise things to you.

As with any Windows update preview, there’s no guarantee this will actually be released in a public update that rolls out to the tens of millions of computers running Windows around the world – but it’s definitely a concern.

There are other things in the new update preview that are actually a welcome change, though, like folders being added to the new start menu, letting users finally group apps together again in Windows 11. There’s also plans to further integrate One Drive into the File Explorer, as Microsoft continually improves the task bar and other functionality.

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