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The Windows 11 Start Menu is preparing to annoy you for using a local account

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There are plenty of good reasons to use an official Microsoft account, linked at least nominally to your online presence, in Windows 11. And there are at least as many good reasons Not TO, especially if you are not at all interested in downloading software from the Microsoft Store. But Microsoft would really appreciate it if you just gave it some of that sweet personal information and let it target ads to you, and upcoming builds of Windows 11 won’t shut up until you do.

Such is the case with Windows 11 developer build 23435now available for Windows Insider testers (and also known for its new presence detection switch). Among other changes and adjustments, the Start menu will now preach the sacred word of the Microsoft account in nothing less than four annoying pop-up messages: “Sign in to your Microsoft account”, “Use Microsoft 365 for free”, “Keep your account more secure” and “Access your files from anywhere”, highlighting 5GB of free OneDrive space.

These messages are an expansion of the Start Menu notification system that Microsoft announced last month and which were immediately criticized as just “notifications” in the sense that that cartoon lizard “notifies you” about car insurance. The Windows additions that appear in test builds aren’t automatically slated for rollout in the full releaseā€¦ but like the initial announcement of Start Menu notifications, these announcements are getting pride of place in the blog post. They are arriving.