Quick fix: Just click the “Create a Microsoft account” link and you will see the option to “Sign in without a Microsoft account” at the very bottom of that page. This will let you sign into you computer directly without having to create an account with Microsoft online services. (Please don’t ask me for technical support. That’s not what I do). More details, and my rant about this, below.

Recently got a new laptop with Windows 8.1 on it. It’s what it came with, so fair enough, will give it a go.

On first startup it eventually took me to a screen which said “Sign into your Microsoft Account”.

There is no way forward out of that screen without either signing in to a Microsoft Account, or clicking the link to create a Microsoft Account. I could go back, but then still cannot get past that screen. I do not need, nor want, an account with Microsoft online services. I did not want to be forced into creating one. Am not saying there is anything wrong with Microsoft online services… I just want to use my new computer…please…

However, it turns out that there is a link in the “Create a Microsoft account” page which does let me bypass having to create an account on Microsoft services.

At the very bottom of the “Create a Microsoft account” page there is a link which says, “Sign in without a Microsoft account” (thought it is not bold like that in their page) which lets me sign in to my computer without all that palaver.

The scallywags at Microsoft seem to have this mad scheme to try and collect customer details and if we all go signing up for Microsoft online accounts they get our email address and so on. It is not just Microsoft who are up to this, Google and Apple all play the game in their own ways. They all want to sell us stuff and they more they can tie us in, and get us into their environment, they more stuff they can sell us.

That is why, I reckon, Microsoft do not put the link to bypassing creating an account with them in a more obvious place. I can only assume the obfuscation is deliberate as I assume they have figured out the obvious places to put links on a page by now.

Many hapless user will just sign to Microsoft online services (whatever name they are calling it these days) not knowing, or maybe caring, what they are joining. Microsoft have obscured the difference between setting up the computer and setting up an account with their online services. I don’t like this kind of thing as it is deliberately exploiting people’s ignorance. Whatever the justifications used for this (and as I say it is not just Microsoft who does this) it is never the moral high ground. No matter how fancy and glossy the reasons given for this kind of behavior, it just leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

It is like what we used to wonder about the old USSR. If their system is so great (as they used to tell their citizens) why do they have to try and lock people into it?

I hope at some point there is a concerted backlash (legislation even) against this kind of pushy behavior from the corporates. They are too focused on “owning the customer experience” (and then dressing it up as serving the customers) for my liking.