For Windows 11 Home you already need a Microsoft account, for Windows 11 Pro it will be required from the autumn update. According to the developer, a free tool eliminates the obligation to have an account.
Windows 11: Free tool bypasses Microsoft account compulsion
With the upcoming autumn update 22H2, Microsoft is tightening the thumbscrews on Windows 11. Because from Windows 11 22H2 users of Windows 11 Pro must also use a Microsoft account. You can read more about this in this message: Next Windows 11 update tightens account requirements. Windows 11 Home users have had to use the Microsoft account for a long time anyway.
From Windows 11 22H2 the following applies: To set up Windows 11 Home or Pro on a new computer, you must specify a Microsoft account. An internet connection is also required during setup.
One exception remains: For Windows 11 Enterprise there will be no Microsoft account obligation even with the autumn update 22H2.
However, the IT news magazine Windowslatest points out that the Rufus application can be used to circumvent compulsory accounts. However, only the beta version Rufus 3.19 offers this possibility and not the current final version Rufus 3.18. The use of Rufus 3.19 Beta is at your own risk. You can find the download including release notes and a brief description of the procedure here.
With Windows 11 Pro, the account requirement can currently be circumvented as follows:
Enter “windows” as the Microsoft account and in the next step enter any password. Then the error message “Sorry, there was a problem” appears, stating that the password for this account has been entered too many times. Windows 11 Pro now allows the operating system to be used with a local user account via “Next”.
Quick check: Is your PC ready for Windows 11 22H2 (fall 2022 update)?