Re: @M Gayle
"Guessing you just blindly type into text boxes without looking at what else is on the screen? The option to sign in with a local account is on the same page as the one asking for your Microsoft account."
I expect set-up options to be obvious, not hidden in an Apple-apology style. This isn't Slackware Linux; it's supposed to be easy.
"That said, how is this different to requiring a Google/Gmail account on Android, or an Apple ID on the iPhone?"
Because they are toys, and I'm trying to set up a computer? Let's not forget that you don't need a Google account to use Android. You can install apps from all over the place, and the Google account is for Google services like the Play store.
Microsoft trying to turn computers into toys is half the problem. If I wanted an Xbox, I'd buy an Xbox. Happy that it's hidden away in a VM jail though. I don't think I could stand Metro for doing anything other than selecting which variant of Angry Birds I want to play, and even then I fail to see how it's better than the Frequently Used section of Win7's start menu, or attaching an icon to the desktop.
Still, at least poking around in the settings has found the Local Account options. Microsoft plainly wants to harvest a shitload of email addresses and personal details, and I trust them even less than I trust Google with that, frankly.