We already know that Windows 11 Home will require a Microsoft Account (MSA) at the start of the installation process. What Microsoft hasn’t announced is whether it’s possible to sign in with just one local account. This is the case, but only with Windows 11 Pro.
A source close to Microsoft now tells us that the only way to avoid using an MSA is with Windows 11 Pro. According to our source, users who buy or own a PC with Windows 11 Pro can choose to use a local account or an MSA right at the start of the installation process.
The Windows 11 Home MSA requirement is not permanent, but inevitable. Microsoft will allow the user to switch to a local account after the Windows 11 Home installation process is complete. Retail versions of Windows 11 Home will provide the same experience.
Our source told us that local account users will not have a “reduced or limited experience,” although they cannot sync content or use Windows 11’s ability to sync or recommend content from other devices. This content, which can include documents or web pages that a user has viewed on another PC, is usually synced with the user’s MSA account.
Microsoft’s declining support for local accounts
Microsoft has no incentive to encourage local accounts. The company would rather use your MSA in a give and take relationship: Microsoft offers additional synchronized services, like OneDrive cloud storage and Office apps on the web, and in return, the company quietly takes data about how you use Windows and Microsoft services. . Privacy concerns erupted in 2015 with the advent of Windows 10 and its telemetry, then passed out. Microsoft allows you many, many options to protect your privacy in Windows 10– but it’s also a bet that you won’t get bored.
Local accounts were seen as a way around this. Microsoft may be able to watch what you do on the web (anonymously), but it won’t be able to match your actions if you switch to a different PC.
At the same time, Microsoft has changed the way it lets you create a local account. In 2019, Microsoft began phasing out the option to use a local account during setup, unless internet access is not available. Even then, the OOBE experience often asked you to connect to the internet before asking you to log in. This led to some weird scenarios where users who wanted to log in with a local account needed to turn off their Wi-Fi before setting up Windows 10.
Microsoft has apparently closed that loophole completely now. That leaves users with an expensive alternative: Windows 10 Pro (and, we expect, Windows 11 Pro) costs $ 199.99 for a standalone license, compared to $ 139.00 for Windows 10 Home. (Amazon is offering a discount on Windows 10 Pro, which we showed above.)
Microsoft offers bonuses apps and functions on Windows 10 Pro devices than Windows 10 Home, although many are not directly useful to consumers. (An exception is Windows Sandbox, which is very useful.) If you already have Windows 10 Pro, you can upgrade to Windows 11 Pro for free.
Previously, Microsoft offered Surface devices with Windows 10 Pro installed, but that has also changed. The most recent versions of Surface Pro tablets ship with Windows 10 Home, and only the more expensive Surface Pro for Business tablets include Windows 10 Pro.
For many users who watch the Windows 11 launch, the MSA requirement can’t help but feel like another kick in the ribs. No more confusion Hardware requirements for Windows 11 and the need a TPM eclipsed the many features of Windows 11 that Microsoft added.
Will Microsoft backtrack? It certainly could. the opinion of a former Microsoft security analyst is that this could only happen if users were fussing about.