the setup makes it sounds like i can only use the machine if i make an online account (which on the first screen is just called a "Microsoft account"-- classic dodgy advertising tactic, not letting you know entirely what you're in for until you're halfway committed). even i, as an experienced pc user, was almost fooled. but i looked around the screen, and there, in small text at the bottom, was the option "offline account".
i click it and i get a big splash screen. YOU CAN DO MORE THINGS WITH AN ONLINE ACCOUNT. i continue to click "offline account". it finally relents, but throws up a very prominent "OR USE YOUR ONLINE ACCOUNT" button.
i have to turn off cortana twice during the setup process.
then i'm confronted with privacy settings, which is basically a big screen full of checkboxes that default to privacy violations, have to be manually ticked off, and display yellow "warning" text when you do.
i haven't felt this emotionally exploited since the neopets pound. the entire setup is designed to make you empathise with and welcome microsoft's robot spy into your home, while making you feel like your system is threatened for making basic privacy decisions