In Pictures: The hidden fangs of Windows 8.1 - and how to avoid them

Before you install Windows 8.1, make sure you understand the gotchas and how not to get bit

Microsoft accounts Solution: If you don’t want Microsoft to follow you around like a sniffer dog in "Breaking Bad," create a new local account -- don’t bother deleting any old accounts -- and use the new local account for your Windows efforts.

When you create a new account (use Control Panel, which flips you to the Metro side), you may be greeted by a screen like this one, which tries to get you to sign into, or create, a new Microsoft account. To get a local account, click Create a New Account at the bottom, then click “Sign in without a Microsoft Account.” Wade through the pushy messages and go local.

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