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Windows 11 Pro to soon require a Microsoft Account during setup

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Highlights:

  • Windows 11 Pro will require an internet connection during setup soon.
  • This behavior matches Windows 11 Home, which already enforces this requirement.
  • Users will also be required to sign in with a Microsoft Account.

Microsoft will soon force Windows 11 Pro users to create a Microsoft account and be connected to the internet for the initial setup process. This behavior matches Windows 11 Home, which already enforces this requirement. Currently, Windows 11 Pro users managed to avoid a Microsoft Account by disconnecting the PC from the Internet during the setup phase and creating a local user account instead.

Once the changes go into place, Windows 11 will be the only major operating system to require an account to gain access to basic functions. Apple’s macOS allows you to create a local account during setup and Android will similarly get you to the home screen without sign-in. Even Chrome OS, a cloud-centric operating system, has a guest mode for basic browsing without an account.

The news comes via a change log in the latest Windows 11 pro 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 require for setup as well. You can expect Microsoft Account to be require in subsequent WIP flights”.

Microsoft also announced a slew of changes, including “a handful of new features for Insiders to try including folders in the pinned apps area of Start, live captions, a new Focus experience, Quick Access improvements in File Explorer, new touch gestures, and a lot more”, in the blog post.

Windows is adding five new touch gestures to the operating system with the new build. The first lets you swipe up on the taskbar to bring up the Start menu. You can then swipe down to dismiss it. You’ll also be able to swipe between pinned, all apps, and recommended / more on the Start menu. The third new touch gesture lets you swipe from the bottom right of the taskbar to show the Quick Settings menu. It is useful if you need to toggle airplane mode quickly or access Bluetooth settings.

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