Microsoft has announced an update that introduces a new single sign-in notice for Windows users within the European Economic Area (EEA), aiming to comply with the region's Digital Markets Act (DMA). The change, affecting both Windows 10 and Windows 11, is set to start in January 2024, with full implementation by March of the same year.
EU Digital Markets Act Compliance
The Digital Markets Act represents the European Union's commitment to ensuring fair and open digital markets. Key players in the digital space, known as “gatekeepers” due to their substantial market impact, are targeted by this regulation. These include tech giants such as Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, ByteDance, Meta, and Microsoft, all of which have been designated by the European Commission as gatekeepers. Microsoft's updated sign-in interface arrives in response to these new regulations, which seek to prevent unilateral and detrimental terms for business and end users set by these prominent companies.
Implementing User-Centric Choices
Through the updated sign-in process, once a user signs into Windows, they are presented with a notification that their account will be used to sign into other Microsoft apps and services, offering a clear choice to either “Continue” or “Don't sign in.” Selecting “Continue” enables convenient repeated access without the need for multiple sign-in prompts, while this prompt will reappear after 90 days of inactivity or upon removal and re-addition of a cloud account. For applications that do not mandate sign-in, users have the freedom to opt for the “Don't sign in” selection and use the apps unauthenticated.
Windows Insider Program participants can currently preview this feature on Windows 11 (Build 2631.2787) and can expect it in Windows 10 and Windows 11 previews in the forthcoming weeks. This enhancement is tailored specifically to EEA country users, showcasing Microsoft's efforts to adhere to regional legislation while possibly setting a precedent for user authentication options globally.