Microsoft is sharpening the account requirement again: After Windows 11 Home, Windows 11 Professional, which could previously be installed with an offline account, will also require a Microsoft account for a new installation.
Account and online requirement for Windows 11 Pro
As Microsoft announced in the release notes for Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 22557 under “Other changes”, the company will once again tighten the reins on account requirements and also extend it to the installation process of Windows 11 Professional.
Similar to Windows 11 Home edition, Windows 11 Pro edition now requires internet connectivity during the initial device setup (OOBE) only. If you choose to setup device for personal use, MSA will be required for setup as well.Microsoft
This means that in future not only an internet connection but also a Microsoft account will be required to reinstall Windows 11 Pro. Previously, Windows 11 Pro could also be installed and used in offline mode and without a Microsoft account.
Windows 11 Pro draws level with Windows 11 Home
An explicit account and online obligation during installation, which can be bypassed with a workaround, previously only existed for Windows 11 Home.
Windows 11 Home edition requires an Internet connection and a Microsoft Account to complete device setup on first use.Microsoft
Microsoft would like to improve this in the future and also make Windows 11 Pro users happy with an account and online requirement.
This was first reported by the journalist Tom Warren from the website The Verge via the short message service Twitter.
Insider Preview ISO files already affected
The account requirement is expected to be introduced with the autumn 2022 update aka Windows 11 22H2 and is already affecting new installations of the Windows 11 Insider Preview in the Beta Dev Channel.
You can expect Microsoft Account to be required in subsequent WIP flights.Microsoft