In an ideal world, Microsoft would like every Windows installation to be from a user with a Microsoft Account, but that's not the case. Over the years, the company has tried several tactics to entice users to sign for a Microsoft Account when installing Windows. With the launch of Windows 11, Microsoft has opted for a much more direct approach.
According to PCWorld, Microsoft is ditching the pretense and will simply force Windows 11 users to have a Microsoft Account. In other words, it will be impossible to install Windows 11 without holding an account with Microsoft.
An exception will be made for Windows 11 Pro users, who can avoid using a Microsoft Account to install the platform. It is also worth noting once the setup process is over, users will be able to switch back to a local account.
Other platforms operate similarly. For example, users must have a Google Account to use Chrome OS, let alone set it up. Of course, the major downside of setting up a Microsoft Account if you do not want to is Microsoft will collect your personal data even if you only use the account for installation.
However, while I get that some people may not like this tactic, it makes sense from Microsoft's perspective. The company wants to bring people into its ecosystem, and not just Windows. So, that means Office applications, cloud syncing, Microsoft Teams, and the Microsoft Store.
A Microsoft Account is necessary for all those aspects of the experience.
In terms of system requirements for Windows 11, Microsoft points to the following:
- A modern 64-bit processor. Windows 11 is only a 64-bit platform, with no 32-bit version.
- 1Ghz clock speed
- 2 cores
- 64GB drive
- 4GB RAM
- UEFI, Secure Book capable & TPM 2.0
- 9-inch display with 1366×768 resolution
- DirectX 12 compatible graphics / WDDM 2.x
There is also a webcam requirement coming into effect in 2023 and requirements around Bluetooth. An earlier demand for OEMs to include TPM 2.0 support could be relaxed upon request, Microsoft has said.
Tip of the day: Due to the various problems that arise with microphones, it can often be necessary to perform a mic test, but those wondering how to hear yourself on mic in Windows 10 are often left stumped. Microsoft's OS doesn't make it especially intuitive to listen to microphone playback or play the microphone through speakers. In our tutorial we show you how to hear yourself on mic with just a few clicks