Windows 11 Build 22557 was released yesterday for Insiders. This brought a sneaky little change, Windows 11 Pro edition users will be prompted to sign in to their Microsoft account for future installs.
How many more of these ridiculous decisions are we going to see from the company?
What does it mean?
Here is a brief explanation for those who are unaware. It’s quite simple, you will only be able to configure Windows when you are connected to the Internet. You will no longer be able to install the operating system with a local account as you did before.
This is not a new change per se, as this requirement has already been enforced for Windows 11 Home edition users. Pro edition users have now entered the chat.
If you buy a new laptop or PC and go through the out-of-the-box experience (OOBE), to set up Windows 11, you will need to sign in to your Microsoft account to install the operating system. And if you’re formatting your hard drive for a clean install, you guessed it, you’ll need to log in to the account.
How does this affect users?
Not everyone has the luxury of having access to a good internet connection. You may find it hard to believe, but there are still many users who do not have internet at home. Maybe it’s too expensive for them, or a network provider isn’t available in their neighborhood, city, or town. There are many reasons why a person cannot access the internet. This is not the subject of this debate. Why should Microsoft decide what the user should have or not?
Lack of internet connection is not the only problem a user may face. Sometimes the operating system may not install the drivers for the user’s LAN network card or Wi-Fi drivers, the generic operating system drivers may not work, in which case they may not work at all connect until the correct drivers have been installed. I think it’s fair to say that not everyone has these drivers at their fingertips. They won’t be able to download the drivers because their computer can’t connect, nor can they install it from a USB flash drive or whatever because Windows hasn’t been installed. So what will these users do? It’s not Microsoft’s concern, it’s the user’s problem.
I assume this requirement is probably in place to authenticate the operating system the user is eligible for or to verify if they have a genuine Windows license tied to their account. It’s either that or the OS can use your account to sync the data from the cloud, making the files ready to go, because even if you didn’t ask for it, we figured that would be the best option for you.
Needless to say, the news drew criticism from users, and rightly so. We can just add that to the number of lessons Microsoft hasn’t learned lately. Think from the perspective of the user, not your own convenience or business decisions. Give the user more choices, don’t take away their freedom.