Windows 11 Home requires a Microsoft account during setup

Windows 11 doesn't seem to have many heavy changes in the architecture under the hood, and many see it more as Windows 10.5. Microsoft, however, is making a few changes to the operating system's requirements that would make Windows 11 incompatible with PCs that run Windows 10 perfectly well. It isn't just hardware requirements that could be a breaking change for new Windows 11 systems, though. Even the way you create a new computer's first user has an essential new requirement, at least for Windows 10 Home.

It's no secret that Microsoft wants everyone using any Microsoft to have and use a Microsoft account. Even Minecraft, which it now owns, has started requiring it across all the game's versions. Microsoft tried to enforce that requirement during Windows 10's lifetime and met no small amount of backlash. It seems it has found the perfect opportunity to try again with Windows 11.

Windows Latest reveals that Windows 11 Home's setup process absolutely requires a Microsoft account to set up, which, in turn, requires a working Internet connection. On Windows 10, turning off the Internet connection would allow the user to set up a local account instead. However, this time, the setup process won't proceed at all if you don't have an Internet connection.

The report notes that the Microsoft account is only required when configuring new and retail PCs, not when upgrading active Windows 10 systems to Windows 11. Furthermore, the user can still add a local account and remove the Microsoft account after the setup process. It isn't known yet if Windows 11 Pro or Enterprise will have a similar requirement.

Requiring a Microsoft account isn't going to sit well with some Windows users, but requiring an Internet connection during setup might be an even bigger offense to some. Microsoft advertises many benefits and conveniences that a Microsoft account brings to the Windows 11 experience. However, that presumes that all Windows users are big fans or even users of all of Microsoft's other products, which is unlikely to be the case.