Musk 'texts' Nadella about Windows 11's demands for a Microsoft account

Billionaire worried about AI crawling over his computer

Are you getting a bit tired of Microsoft's demands while installing Windows 11? You aren't alone – billionaire Elon Musk is also less than impressed with the requirements for a smooth out-of-box experience.

In this instance, Musk was attempting to get going with a new laptop and was displeased to find the Windows 11 setup asking for a Microsoft account in order to continue.

The X boss said: "Just bought a new PC laptop and it won't let me use it unless I create a Microsoft account, which also means giving their AI access to my computer! This is messed up."

Musk's point has some merit, although it's not entirely straightforward. A corporate laptop obviously does not require a Microsoft account, but it is tricky to set up something for personal use without one. "There used to be an option to skip signing into or creating a Microsoft account," the billionaire huffed.

These days, however, the option is trickier to find. Musk's problem was that his laptop was automatically connecting to the local Wi-Fi, which doesn't have a password. If a user can install without connecting to the internet, it is still possible to get Windows 11 up and running without using a Microsoft account.

Musk received clarification from a community note explaining the process. Though he complained that "Community Notes is failing here. This option no longer exists," he was told that the source of the problem was his laptop automatically connecting.

On a sacrificial PC, we found that Windows 11 can indeed be installed without a Microsoft account. We used Shift + F10 to drop to a command line at the network connection page and entered OOBE\BYPASSNRO to force a reboot and make the "I don't have internet" option appear. To be fair to Musk, it is quite convoluted.

Running a personal Windows 11 device without a Microsoft account is not a great experience, however. Some elements of the operating system simply do not work, and Microsoft is clearly keen for customers to have an account. If that's not a path you wish to tread, there are plenty of alternatives to Windows 11 out there.

Or you could follow Musk's example and take your complaints to the boss. In response to a suggestion that he call Satya Nadella for technical support, Musk said: "I just sent him a text."

There's a name for individuals who demand to speak to the manager at the slightest provocation. ®

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