Windows 11 can be used with either account or a Microsoft
account, but the company has been insisting on the second
option. Windows 11 Home pushes Microsoft account over the local
account and it forces users to connect to the internet to
complete the device’s setup or a new installation.
At the moment, it is still possible to easily choose between
Microsoft and local accounts in Windows 11 Pro and Enterprise
edition. In a future release, there won’t be an option for a
local account when setting up Windows 11 Pro and the whole
thing gets harder as Microsoft also wants users to keep their
devices connected to the internet.
Windows 11 Build 22557, Microsoft is now experimenting with
the same Windows 11 Home-like changes for Windows 11 Pro.
As you can see in the above screenshot, Microsoft expects its
users to have a Microsoft account and Internet connection to
finish the OOBE (out of the box experience).
The internet connection requirement could annoy some as the
installation won’t proceed unless you’re connected to the
Of course, there are workarounds to remove Windows 11’s
restrictions, but it is obviously going to be difficult for
beginners. For example, if you want to set up Windows 11
without Microsoft account or internet connection, you need to
make changes to the installation media and use files from
Windows 10 instead.
Why Windows 11 is pushing for a Microsoft account
Microsoft account integration does improve the experience if
you rely on its Office or Teams, and its other products like
OneDrive. At the same time, Microsoft wants to use its account
across all devices to make more money, which is done by
offering personalized ads based on your activities.
Based on recent changes, it looks like users can only install
Windows 11 Enterprise, Education and some other special
editions without needing a Microsoft account.
While a Microsoft account is set to become a new standard,
you’ll still be able to create a local user account. After
going through the initial installation process where you need
to enter your Microsoft credentials, you can open Windows 11
Settings and set up a local account instead.
Once you’ve configured a local account, you can unlink the
Microsoft account and keep using the local version.
Even so, Windows 11 will be using pop-ops to de-emphasize your
preference and recommend Microsoft account to access Office
365, OneDrive and other products with a free trial.