Microsoft has a new setup process in the next version of Windows 10 that invites users to “make Windows even better” by setting up devices and services with a Microsoft Account.
The next Windows 10 feature update, version 1903, includes the new prompt when a system first starts, encouraging users to set up services ‘powered by a Microsoft account’.
Microsoft is currently testing this feature with Windows Insiders using recent builds from the 19H1 branch.
“Let’s make Windows even better – this shouldn’t affect what you’ve already set up,” says the prompt, spotted in recent builds by Ghacks.
One of the key features Microsoft wants users to set up is linking a phone and a PC. Users are asked to type their phone number in a field and send it to Microsoft.
Microsoft says this action will deliver ‘essential apps’ to help users work better across devices. After sending the number, Microsoft sends a link in an SMS to get ‘the first app’, which could be its Your Phone app.
Microsoft wants users to be signed in to all its cross-device mobile apps, including Microsoft Launcher, Edge, and Cortana for Android, as well as Edge Continue on PC, and Cortana for iOS.
Other Microsoft Account services that users are prompted to set up include Windows Hello ‘to sign in faster and more securely’, Office 365, and One Drive for backup and keeping files accessible. There’s also a setup process for ‘Do more across devices’ that promises ‘seamless experiences’.
There doesn’t seem to be anything sneaky going on in the new prompt. However, Microsoft recently began offering Windows insiders on 19H1 builds the chance to try out Windows Hello Face, fingerprint or a PIN to sign-in to Windows without a password.
Setting up passwordless sign-in is easier for users who already have a Microsoft account with a phone number. Getting this step out of the way during the initial setup could reduce friction for users trying passwordless sign-in.
The company also recently announced that Windows 10 users on version 1809 could use Windows Hello and FIDO2 security keys for passwordless sign-in to its core services, including Outlook.com, Office 365, Skype, OneDrive, Cortana, Microsoft Edge, Xbox Live on the PC, Mixer, Microsoft Store, Bing, and MSN.
If users don’t want to set up services and devices so they’re connected to a Microsoft Account, Microsoft does provide the option to ‘Skip for now’. But clearly if Microsoft has made new experiences available, it would prefer people use them.
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