Over 900 million Windows 10 device users are not too happy with the way Microsoft has removed the ‘Use offline account’ option from their computers due to the fact that Microsoft wanted them to gear towards its cloud based Microsoft account.
Although the offline account feature is specific to one device and a cloud based Microsoft account can be used to multiple devices with the benefit of passwordless authentication, the local account does not require an internet connection or email address. It it the old way of logging in using a username and password for the PC. Many would say that the local account option is inferior from a security point of view and usability standpoint.
This feature has been hidden by Microsoft and as angered the Microsoft community when setting up a new PC or re-installing the operating system. By default, it is invisible if the device is connected to the internet somehow.
One work-around is to run the setup without the computer being connected to the internet or fake a phone number multiple times and it will later on prompt you with a screen where you can set up a local account.
Many would say it is a dirty tactic since not all would like to tie the OS with an online account. Some users still are still able to see the local account upon installing Windows 10, but Microsoft is actually discouraging this practice.
The way Microsoft has been a bit shady is the way they urged users to mislead users in creating a Microsoft instead of a local account. The local account option is not displayed once it is connected. This move has been dialed back in the latest Windows 10 May 2019 Update 1909 version.
Admins still have the option to create an offline account but is is found when you open ‘Domain join instead’; thus allowing admins to create an offline account.
Due to this, Windows 10 users are accusing Microsoft of employing ‘dark pattern’ techniques to divert them from using local accounts which benefits the seller and leaving less options for users instead.
As of this writing, there are no further notice from Microsoft regarding this issue.