I think I could somehow understand this debate if we were living in an Orwellian world where The Big Brother ordered even which operating system we have to use. However, as the use of Windows in general and the MS Account in particular is totally voluntary, I have no understanding for this.
Fellow geeks, keep in your mind that in your private life, on your private computers, you can freely select your operating system by yourself. Why use so much energy for complaining about something you don't want to install and use? Get a Mac, install any Linux, stop using Windows. It really is that simple.
Very chracteristic for this ongoing debate is the Windows 10 pricing. Some of the "Microsuck" propaganda was based on the price of the Windows both when "Let me keep my XP" users complained about Windows 7 and again when "I will never install Eight" users complained about Windows 8. Now when Microsoft announced that Windows 10 will be free for users of Seven and Eight, this element, price complaints were suddenly taken away from them. You'd thought that the discussion had been only positive after such a move but no, of course not; as I have said before, most of the resistance is really clearly only based on change, opposing change only for the sake of change without any really valid points. The opponents had to find a new argument when the price was taken out of the equation, so naturally now they started to complain about how wrong it is that this policy, Windows 10 for free, could make it possible that some pirates also got a free legal Windows.
Let's look at some facts:
Each and every
Both of you geeks reading this are using cloud. A UK based company Designer Media Ltd. maintains these forums of ours on servers located in the USA. Everything is there, your avatar and the screenshots you have uploaded to your posts, the page frames and CSS files, each post, each word ever written in any section of the forums. When you clicked the title of this thread your local computer retrieved the data from the server in USA making it available to you wherever in the world you are. That is the very definition of cloud computing, storing the data somewhere else then using the correct tools, in this case a browser, to retrieve it to be used on a local computer.
The same with your email. Especially IMAP and Exchange mail protocols are pure cloud services; the messages are stored on a server from where you retrieve them to read on your local computer. YouTube, Netflix, Vimeo the same, you get data from a cloud streamed to your local computer. Gamers using Steam use cloud every time the Steam is running, and so on. Even checking the weather or reading the news is cloud based, the information stored and your request to get it handled on MSN Weather or CNN or what not, then presented to you on your local computer.
Regarding cloud services, the only difference between Windows XP & 7 compared to Windows 8 and later is that when using a Microsoft Account to sign in, the OneDrive storage, Mail and XBox apps work out-of-the-box and if you want to you can start installing software from the Windows Store. You can start backing up your files to OneDrive, get your emails and use your XBox games, music and videos without needing separately sign in to those services. That's it, that's the extent of the cloud in Windows 8 and later. By the way, of course it's totally up to you to decide if you want these services, you don't have to run OneDrive, Mail or XBox apps if you don't want to.
Those users who don't like the idea don't have to use any of these services. The same desktop software that they had installed on Seven can be installed in Eight and Ten and it can be used exactly as in Seven.
The absolutely only way not to use cloud services is never to connect to Internet. How fun or practical would that be?
Local Account in Windows 8 and later
Since version 8 the Windows operating system is designed and meant to be used with a Microsoft Account. It is the default, the way it should be. It is of course natural that this, signing in with an existing MS Account or offering the option to create a new one are the ones which are preferred and shown as default.
However, Microsoft has made it very clear they do not force users to use an email account to sign in to Windows and given a quite an easy way to get around this and sign in with a local account. In my personal (and naturally quite subjective) opinion all these complaints about how difficult it is to sign in with a local account are ungrounded and invalid. Of course the selection is not there on the first dialog after the installation with 128 point bold and cursive font in blinking background. No, Windows is meant to be used with an MS Account.
But the option is there, easy to find and use. It is also well documented. Please forgive me to putting it this way but really, if a user do not bother to find out about this option and still is unable to find it, maybe this user really shouldn't use Windows at all due lacking capacity.
As the possibility to use a local account has remained about the same and can be done about as easy as it was in Windows 8, I have been really surprised to see and hear these complaints. Not a single post has been about "How nice that Microsoft continues supporting the non email based sign in in Windows 10
". Why? This is also one of those things where the reason to a complaint has to be made up. I can almost see it when I close my eyes, a "Windows Sucks" geek sitting in front of his PC, thinking about what he should post now to show how much he hates it:
"Can't complain about Microsoft forcing me to use a Microsoft Account because they still allow using a local account, so let's see if I can complain about something else. Oh yeah, seems that I need two extra mouse clicks for a local account, that's a good one, I'll start complaining about that".
If you don't like whisky, drink beer. If you don't want to drive a Mazda, get a VW. If you don't like your spouse, get a divorce. If you hate spinach, don't eat it. If you don't like Windows 10, don't install it.