Have you ever noticed a condition in the world that seemed so absurd until an absurd premise was put forth to explain it, and it all made sense?
Somewhere on the Internet I either heard or read the opinion that Microsoft is no longer a software company, but a marketing company.
In 1994 when I was an intern installing Microsoft Windows 3.1 from 3.5″ disks onto company Dell PCs, it is safe to presume, I believe, that I was installing software from a software company. Sometime between 1994 and 2023, when I now write this short blog post on my home PC running Microsoft Windows 11, that software company mutated into the horrendous entity that attempts to force all Windows installations to use Microsoft accounts.
There are many sound use cases for local accounts, many of them obvious and I will not list any here. And it is possible, today, to still bypass the online account, but Microsoft does not make it easy, and I would not be surprised if the end goal is to eliminate the possibility altogether.
From the sound use cases, Microsoft’s position makes no sense. You and I, making reasonable assumptions about Microsoft in part from its history, cannot understand. But if you accept the notion that Microsoft is really a marketing company whose goal is to harvest as much data about its “customers” to use against them, er…provide relevant ads and service offers, you might start to see the bigger picture. It’s like Facebook and all the other “free” social media platforms where you are the product, only in Microsoft’s case you need their marketing platform to run crucial software for your home, education, business.
If you don’t believe Microsoft is a marketing company, go into your Microsoft account’s privacy settings and see all of the data they are collecting on you. Yes, you can “delete” it but there is no way to tell them STOP COLLECTING DATA ON ME PERIOD. If you still do not believe, try to disable Windows “Interests” – no matter what, “Interests” is always harvesting data on you to tailor its news feed, even if you never use it.
I wish I could say there was a nirvana alternative to Windows. macOS is really nice but Apple as a company has its own issues technologically and philosophically. Linux is wonderful but in the end, you are probably going to be forced back into Windows against your wishes and liking.