Windows 11 Build 22557 was released yesterday to Insiders. It brought a sneaky little change, Windows 11 Pro edition users will be prompted to sign in to their Microsoft account for future installations.
How many more of these ridiculous decisions are we going to see from the company?
What does this mean?
Here’s a brief explanation for those who aren’t in the loop. It’s quite simple really, you will only be able to set up Windows when you are connected to the internet. You won’t be able to install the operating system with a local account like you used to.
This isn’t a new change per se, because this requirement has already been enforced for Windows 11 Home edition users. The Pro edition users have entered the chat now.
If you buy a new laptop or a 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 format 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 plenty of users who don’t have internet at home. Maybe it’s too expensive for them, or a network provider is not available in their neighborhood, town or village. There are lots of different reasons why a person can’t access the internet. That’s not the subject of this debate. Why should Microsoft decide what the user needs to have or not have?
A lack of an 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 drivers from the OS may not work, in which case they cannot go online at all until the proper drivers have been installed. I think it’s fair to say that not everyone has these drivers handy. They won’t be able to download the drivers since their computer can’t go online, neither can they install it from a USB flash drive or something, because Windows hasn’t been installed. So, what will these users do? That’s not Microsoft’s concern, it’s the user’s problem.
I’m guessing this requirement is probably in place to authenticate the operating system that the user is eligible for, or to check if they have a genuine Windows license tied to their account. It’s either that, or the operating system may use your account to synchronize the data from the cloud, making the files ready-to-use, because even though you didn’t ask for it, we thought it would be the best option for you.
Needless to say, the news has drawn flak from users, quite deservedly. We can just add this to the number of lessons Microsoft has failed to learn in recent times. Think from a user’s perspective, not your own convenience or corporate decisions. Give the user more choices, don’t take the freedom away from them.