In the latest Windows 11 build, Microsoft has begun forcing Windows 11 Pro users to set up a Microsoft account and have an active internet connection when installing the OS, adding yet another barrier to installation.
Introduced as part of Windows Insider Build 22616 (opens in new tab), which you can register for updates currently in development, Microsoft has been warning us of this impending requirement for Windows 11 Pro users since February (opens in new tab). However, it’s arrived too soon, as only Windows 11 Enterprise users are able to install Windows 11 without an internet connection or a Microsoft account.
While there are many good reasons to have a Microsoft account, including the ability to now let you play Fortnite online for free, it’s a clear downside to Windows 11 Pro and Home installations.
You’re now being forced to sign in to your account and hand over your information to Microsoft before you have even settled into using your computer, and that’s not just because you’ll need a stable internet connection to complete the process.
Analysis: Another delay to adoption
Thankfully, for those looking to upgrade or install Windows 11 Pro without a Microsoft account, there is still some hope. Since the launch of Build 22616, users have discovered that if you input false credentials when prompted to sign in to your Microsoft account you will be given an error message and the option to click a ‘Next’ button, which takes you to the next step of the installation process.
Windows 11’s Insider Preview Build 22616 isn’t all bad news, as, alongside the updated installation requirements, Microsoft has also implemented a new controller bar feature for Xbox controllers, that makes your most recently played games a button press away.
Recent AdDuplex reports (opens in new tab), which indicate which builds of Windows 10 and 11 people are using, show that Windows 11’s rate of adoption has already slowed to a crawl. It seems like a baffling decision from Microsoft to put up more barriers in the installation process that could dissuade potential users from upgrading.
Alongside the notorious TMP 2.0 requirement that's keeping millions of potential users locked to Windows 10, it’s starting to feel more like Microsoft doesn’t want its current users to upgrade to its latest and supposedly greatest operating system, as this is only making upgrades more difficult, rather than easier, as you might expect.
Via Windows Latest (opens in new tab)