Google's new signup form for Google accounts now requires users to join Google+ and use Gmail, as well as provide your name and gender.
"Your Google Account is more than just Search", the new form sign-up page says, but if you don't want to be shoved into having a Google+ account, prefer to keep your personal details/anonymity to yourself, or would just rather create an account using your own email address, there are two methods you could use.
The Old Sign-Up Form
As long as the link to the old form works, you can create a new Google account using any email address. Besides password and location, you only need to enter a birthday and accept the terms of service to create your account. Simple.
By contrast, the new form asks your first name, last name, mobile phone number (not required, but still asked for), gender (other is allowed) and an email address. And, by default, Google wants to use your account information for search and ad personalisation (something you may want to turn off because of the intrusiveness and user-unfriendliness).
Sign Up From Other Google Services
The Google Operating System blog also notes that if you click "Sign up for a new Google Account" in Google Calendar, Blogger and probably other Google products (e.g., Google Docs), you can bypass the new Google setup form.
It's clear that Google is really pushing to integrate Google+ everywhere, so who knows how long the old sign-up form will be up. One day, Google+ and Gmail might be required for all Google services. Many of us are happy with these services and OK with having them all integrated.
For now, if you don't want to have all your eggs in Google's basket, know that there are still workarounds, and, also, even if you do sign up with the new Google account form with the personalised profile, you can change your setting defaults later (though the majority of people rarely do).
(Worse comes to worse, there are also worthwhile alternatives to Google services.)
[via Google Operating System]