Just like it happened in Windows 8, Windows 10 requires users to log in with a Microsoft account in order to install apps from the Store, but this is no longer valid for those whose computers are powered by the Pro SKU of the operating system.
German website WIndowsArea has discovered that Microsoft suddenly made a policy change that makes it possible for Windows 10 Pro users to install apps from the Windows Store without the need for a Microsoft Account.
There are some limitations, though. First of all, only freeware applications can be installed, so if you want to purchase an app, an account is still required.
Then, if you’re trying to update a paid application that’s already installed on your Windows 10 device, an account is once again needed.
Microsoft hasn’t explained why exactly it made this change, but given the fact that it concerns the Pro version of the operating system, it’s not difficult to see that the company specifically targeted companies that are trying to get more control over what users install on their systems.
On the other hand, it’s not yet clear if the Enterprise SKU of Windows 10 can also install apps without a Microsoft account because reports in this regard are still mixed, with some claiming that it works, while others indicate that it doesn’t.
Without a doubt, installing apps from the Windows Store without an account can boost adoption of Store apps, but we’ve reached out to Microsoft to find out if this is indeed a new policy change and to ask for more details about it.
In the meantime, a Microsoft account continues to be the best way to install apps on a Windows 10 computer, and it also brings a number of other advantages, including sync of settings.