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.
SEE: 20 pro tips to make Windows 10 work the way you want (free PDF)
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.
Previous and related coverage
Microsoft's latest Windows 10 19H1 test build separates search and Cortana
Microsoft's newest Windows 10 19H1 build, No. 18317, separates the unified Microsoft search feature from Cortana, as had been widely rumored and expected.
Windows 10 October 2018 Update finally shifts to automatic rollout
Microsoft will now be offering the Windows 10 October 2018 Update, 1809, to select devices in phases.
Microsoft: Windows 10 to grab 7GB of your storage so big updates don't fail
The 'reserved storage' coming with the next Windows 10 version is another reason to avoid PCs with little storage.
Windows 10: Home users will soon be able to pause updates but only for 7 days
Microsoft continues testing a seven-day delay feature for Windows Update in the Windows 10 Home edition.
Microsoft: 'Expect a bumpy ride'. These are 2019's top 10 tech challenges
Microsoft forecasts how the world will respond to fake news, cyberattacks, AI, trade wars, and social-media regulation.
Microsoft's killer Windows 7 patch: Breaks networking, flags legit PCs as 'Not genuine'
Windows sysadmins wake up on Wednesday with an almighty Patch Tuesday headache.
Microsoft should pay damages for forced Windows 10 update, say Finns
Microsoft could face more complaints after a ruling says it's liable for damages caused by an unauthorized Windows 10 upgrade.
Windows 10 October update problems: Wiped docs, plus Intel driver warning
Back up files before upgrading to Windows 10 1809, and if you get a warning about Intel drivers, do not proceed.
Windows 10 upgrades: Microsoft sued for millions over lost data and damaged PCs
A group of Windows 10 users have brought a new lawsuit alleging Microsoft's upgrade destroyed data and damaged hardware.
Microsoft pays $10,000 to unwilling Windows 10 updater
Microsoft dropped its appeal of a suit brought against the company by a user unhappy with the results of her Windows 10 update experience. Will other similar suits follow?
Windows 10 October 2018 Update now 'fully available' to download says Microsoft
But Microsoft only recommends advanced users grab the update.
Windows 10 finally overtakes Windows 7 as favorite desktop OS TechRepublic
The turning point was flagged by web traffic analytics firm Net Applications, whose NetMarketShare figures showed Windows 10's market share on desktop and laptop PCs passing Windows 7 in December 2018.
CES 2019: Everything we saw, from 8K TVs to amazing fake burgers CNET
The show opened with a bombshell from Apple, closed with a surprise from Samsung and had plenty of news in between.
Is Windows 10 still telling Microsoft what you're doing even if you don't want it to?
Microsoft baffles Windows 10 users by apparently collecting data about recently opened websites and apps when users have opted against sharing that information.
After Windows 10's buggy patches, Microsoft talks up its 'high-quality' fixes
Microsoft promises its software updates will improve next year.
How to turn features on and off in Microsoft Windows 10 from the Control Panel TechRepublic
Microsoft decided to conceal the traditional Control Panel, but you can still access it if you know how.
Windows 10 now leads marketshare, Apple issues rare warning CNET
Windows 10 takes command of the OS marketshare, Apple issues a rare warning in regards to sales and Roku starts offering premium channel subscriptions.