Elon Musk criticizes Microsoft

Elon Musk criticizes Microsoft

Tech CEO was tripped up by his laptop auto-connecting to a passwordless local Wi-Fi access point.

Tesla boss Elon Musk voiced his displeasure with a new laptop on Sunday evening. The issue was how the Windows 11 install on the portable PC insisted Musk sign in with a Microsoft account. Tom’s Hardware has a popular guide on sidestepping this requirement and creating a local account. Several Twitter/X users responded with the baby steps required to succeed using this bypass technique. However, Musk was tripped up by his laptop auto-connecting to a local Wi-Fi access point, which didn’t have a password.

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,” lamented the tech CEO. “There used to be an option to skip signing into or creating a Microsoft account.” He asked his followers, “Are you seeing this too?”

Other social media users quickly responded, hoping to help. Moreover, Twitter/X’s Community Notes feature sparked to life, with context from readers confirming, “It is still possible to set up the latest version of Windows without a Microsoft account.” Musk shot back with the accusation that the Community Notes system was “failing.” As his personal attempts to bypass the Microsoft account requirements weren’t bearing fruit, “This option no longer exists,” he confidently announced.

A play in three acts: Part 3

Following the above, we saw Musk and his fans go down an anti-Microsoft rabbit hole. For example, the Tesla boss asserted that “since they now require that you use their services just to use your computer, @Microsoft can effectively shut off your computer!” His followers also started sharing the usual memes featuring Bill Gates conspiracy theories.

Several hours after announcing his Microsoft account requirement bypass struggles, Musk Tweeted/Xed “Finally got through it, thanks.” Some might say Musk had suffered from a senior moment or a ‘boomer moment,’ as he explained the error of his ways: “Laptop automatically connected to a local WiFi that didn’t have a password without asking. Was able to skip once I deselected that.”

Microsoft account swerving – use a restricted email instead?

We have a full guide here on sidestepping Microsoft’s onerous requirement to avoid creating a local account. Another quick and easy method, which I used about three weeks ago, was to try and sign in to a Microsoft account using an invalid or ‘restricted’ email address. No network cable unplugging or Wi-Fi toggling is required for this method.

After attempting to sign in using a@a.com (for example) and inputting any old password string the installer pops up an error message saying “Oops, something went wrong.” Clicking the ‘Next’ button then allows you to add an offline user / password of your choice, set up three security questions, select your privacy options, and go and complete the first-time setup process.

Linux is the answer – say Linux users

Such is Elon Musk’s reach on Twitter/X that his public Windows 11 setup issues seem to have caused Elon, Microsoft, and Linux to be trending topics (at least in my ‘Trends for you’ and ‘Explore’ feeds). Of course, several Linux devotees were quick to steer Musk towards scrapping Windows 11 and instead join the 2024 is the Year of the Linux Desktop party.

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