Microsoft will require a Microsoft account and network connection to set up Windows 11 Home

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Over the past few years, Microsoft has intentionally made it harder for consumers to set up new Windows PCs without logging in with a Microsoft account. It’s still possible, with a few tricks, with Windows 10. But with Windows 11, Microsoft will require consumers to have a network connection, plus a Microsoft Account (MSA), to set up their PC for the first time to reduce the number of customers. confusion, officials said.

For some users, this change is unlikely to be a deciding factor. But for those still wary of Microsoft collecting data in the name of telemetry, it won’t go over well.

As well: Best Windows 10 laptop in 2021: Top laptops compared

Microsoft officials announced the configuration change during the company’s unveiling of its new variant of the Windows 11 operating system on June 24. Windows 11 will begin rolling out this fall and will begin in early 2022.

Officials also said Microsoft will require PCs to have “modern” 64-bit dual-core processors, a minimum of 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage in order to run its latest version of Windows. Windows 11 itself will be a 64-bit version only; Unlike versions of Windows, including Windows 10, Windows 11 won’t be available as a 32-bit version, officials said today – which isn’t surprising given there are hardly any new ones left. 32 bit PC in the market. (In case you were wondering, yes, 64-bit versions of Windows can run 32-bit software just fine.)

Here is the full list of hardware specs for Windows 11:

  • A “modern” 64-bit dual-core processor
  • 1 GHz clock speed
  • 64 GB disk
  • 4 GB of RAM
  • UEFI, Secure Boot compatible
  • TPM 2.0
  • Larger than 9-inch screen with HD resolution (1366×768 equivalent)
  • DirectX 12 / WDDM 2.x compatible graphics card

The existence of the MSA requirement with Windows 11 Home was noted by some who downloaded the leaked version of Windows 11 a week ago. Microsoft removed the “I don’t have internet” option that allowed users to bypass the MSA requirement and create a local account when first setting up their PC. The old “just unplug your Ethernet cable” option also didn’t work with the leaked Windows 11, as noted by Neowin.

This configuration change will not affect Windows 11 Pro users, who will still be allowed to configure their PC while logged out and use Active Directory to log in initially.

Most existing Windows 10 SKUs will be rolled into Windows 11. The usual Home, Pro, Enterprise, Education, and related variants will still be there. However, the “S Mode” option is removed for Windows 11 Pro. Microsoft’s reasoning seems to be that the operating system itself will be secure and robust enough to eliminate the need for a “mode” that limits customers to getting apps only from the Microsoft Store.

As noted by those downloading the leaked version of Windows 11, there also appears to be a few new “Windows 11 Cloud SE” SKUs in the lineup. Microsoft used the codename “Windows Cloud” to refer to the Windows 10 S Mode variant of Windows 10. Yes, S Mode had nothing to do with the cloud; it was to lock down Windows 10 so that S mode users could only access Windows Store apps. However, this new Windows 11 Cloud SE SKU – at least in the leaked version – has blocked users from accessing the Microsoft App Store.

I asked Microsoft what these Windows 11 Cloud SE SKUs are. No return for now.

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