Elon Musk and the forced Windows Microsoft account

Windows[German]US entrepreneur Elon Musk bought a Windows PC and realized that he had made a mistake. The thing required Musk to have a Microsoft account when he started it up. The man was not "amused" and he kicked Microsoft boss Satya Nadella off the sidelines, which is what this crap is all about. But the episode also shows how far removed we IT techies have become from what affects people.


The fact that Microsoft is pushing users of its products to integrate into the cloud is an open secret and has often been discussed here on the blog. Since Windows 8.x, Microsoft has been trying to push users into a Microsoft account during the initial setup. This has intensified with Windows 10 and with Windows 11, Redmond is going one better. I addressed this in the blog post Windows 11: Internet connection and Microsoft account becomes mandatory during setup. An Internet connection will be mandatory for installation in the OOBE phase. And only Microsoft accounts will be available for setting up user accounts. In the above article, this referred to an Insider Preview, but it is the predetermined path.

Elon Musk is annoyed about forced accounts

We IT people assume that the trend towards forced Microsoft accounts for Windows is well known and that people are aware of this. Sure, local user accounts can be created after the initial setup and there is (still) a trick for getting on with local accounts during setup. Elon Musk, who is probably a tech geek, seems to have recently stumbled across the pitfalls of the Microsoft universe when he bought a new Windows 11 PC.

Elon Musk and the Windows PC

On X, Musk vents in the above tweet. He has just bought a new laptop and can only use it if I set up his Microsoft account. But that also means that the AI gets access to his computer! This is a disaster, says Musk and is once again ahead of the masses, who still believe in the blessings of Microsoft. Musk adds: "There used to be an option where you didn't have to log in to a Microsoft account or create one." It's just an enduring realization: "Everything used to be better somehow".

In a follow-up tweet, Aaron Slodov points out that you can press Shift+F10 during the OOBE setup phase. The command prompt window then opens and the command OOBE\BYPASSNRO can be entered (it might still works on most Windows 10/11 installs). Typical nerd answer – this only works as long as Microsoft allows it.


Musk tried that, but was not successful. But Elon Musk wouldn't be Musk if he didn't follow up. I came across the above tweet on BlueSky. Musk goes after Microsoft boss Satya Nadella, who is currently celebrating a multi-year partnership with MistralAI on X – they have just released an AI model. Musk says that he doesn't want to be annoying, but that Microsoft should please provide an option to skip the Microsoft account requirement when setting up a new Windows PC. Musk simply doesn't want a Microsoft account on his device – something I can well understand.

Even though I often disagree with Elon Musk, he may have achieved more with the above tweet than thousands of articles in IT magazines. He points out a misguided development at Microsoft, which wants to determine how users use Windows systems. With a freedom of choice in the setup that leaves the choice between local and Microsoft account – that used to exist – the whole discussion would be over. Thanks to the reader for pointing this out.

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