Windows 10: Forced Microsoft Account also in Germany

[German]Just a short note for Windows 10 user. It seems that Microsoft is foring now also German users of Windows 10 Home Edition to create a Microsoft Account during setup.


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First attempt at Microsoft account enforcement

At the end of September, the topic was already popped up at the Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 18363. A US user had noticed that he couldn’t set up a local user account when reinstalling Windows 10 Home Preview in this build. He was practically forced to create a Microsoft account during setup. He had posted this behavior on reddit.com, but I hadn’t posted a blog post about it, because only US users were affected and it was an Insider Preview.

But already in November 2019 the topic came up again here in the blog in the post Windows 10 V1909: Missing local user account during setup. But it wasn’t really tangible, it probably affected US users who reinstalled Windows 10 Home and suddenly had no option to create a standard user account in the setup wizard. There was still talk of an A/B test and I wrote:

So the conclusion: Microsoft’s swerve does not {probably] affect European users so far, or at least not on a broad front. The sense of the whole thing remains obscure to me as an observer. Actually, Microsoft’s management announces at every opportunity ‘We want to be as open and transparent as possible’ – the current action is exactly the opposite. The bottom line is that a new unit of measurement for ‘Bangemann’ – defined by Microsoft as ‘the distance between two Windows 10 flops’ – is emerging for me – or what do you think?

Meanwhile I have to admit that I am overtaken by reality on the right side.

Microsoft account enforcement for German users?

My colleague Martin Geuß has just taken up the subject on German site Dr. Windows. His finding: If you grab installation media from Microsoft’s Windows 10 Home Edition and set up a system, you will now be forced to set up a Microsoft account during setup if you have an existing Internet connection. The option to create a standard account instead no longer exists.

This is what happened to Martin when he wanted to install systems with Windows 10 Home in his family circle. The option to create an offline account was missing. Instead, there was an information page that indicated via the hyperlink Further Information that the set up Microsoft account could be removed later. Here is the German info text:


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Mit einem Microsoft-Konto anmelden

Einfach anmelden und loslegen!

Nehmen Sei Ihre Lieblings-Apps und Ihre Sicherheits- und Voreinstellungen einfach auf einem beliebigen Gerät mit, wenn sie sich mit Ihrem Microsoft-Konto anmelden.

Durch die Anmeldung mit einem Microsoft-Konto müssen Sie Ihren Benutzernamen und Ihr Kennwort weniger oft eingeben, und gleichzeitig werden Schutz und Sicherheit ihrer Daten erhöht. Sie können Ihr Microsoft-Konto außerdem verwenden, um Ihre Dateien, Fotos und mehr ohne jeden Zeitverlust auf Ihrem PC sowie auf iOS- und Android-Geräten bereitzustellen. Melden Sie sich einfach einmal an, und wechseln Sie problemlos zwischen Ihren bevorzugten Microsoft-Diensten.

Gute Nachrichten – wenn Sie schon Office365, Xbox Live, OneDrive oder Outlook.com genutzt haben, verfügen Sie möglicherweise bereits über ein Microsoft-Konto.

Wenn Sie es vorziehen, Ihrem Gerät kein Microsoft-Konto zuzuordnen, können Sie es entfernen. Schließen Sie die Installation von Windows ab, klicken Sie auf die Schaltfläche Start, und wechseln Sie zu Einstellungen > Konten > Ihre Informationen. Wählen Sie dann ‘Stattdessen mit einem lokalen Konto anmelden’ aus.

It praises the advantages of an online account, but says also, that the user is able to delete the forced Microsoft account after installation and change it to a local account.

Final thoughts

A power user may circumvent this by simply disconnecting the machine from the Internet during the setup of a Windows 10 system. Then the option to create an ‘offline account’ is still provided. But I find Microsoft’s approach particularly perfidious – because users who deliberately want a standard account without Microsoft connection are now forced to create a Microsoft account or have to use additional tricks. This can be downgraded to standard afterwards. But the approach is clear: laziness wins, a user who finally gets his Windows 10 up and running will not.

BTW: In Windows 10 Pro and in corporate environments, the above detour is not an issue, there an administrator can assign the accounts as he needs them.


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