It appears any previous version of Windows, be it Windows 7, 8, 8.1, or 10 will be able to upgrade to Windows 11, for free. Configuration tools hidden inside the latest OS from Microsoft strongly suggest the company is firmly sticking to Windows as a Service model.
Windows 11, the next major iteration of the popular operating system from Microsoft, will succeed Windows 10. It seems Microsoft is welcoming nearly all earlier versions of Windows OS to upgrade to Windows 11.
Is Microsoft sticking to Windows as a Service model for Windows 11 as well?
Microsoft took a completely different path while delivering updates to the Windows OS when it offered Windows 10. Up until Windows 7, the company sent out Service Packs.
However, with Windows 10, Microsoft started sending out Cumulative Feature Updates. The biannual tradition has continued for the past six years.
— Tom's Hardware (@tomshardware) June 17, 2021
Windows 10 is about six years old. And till today, Microsoft has remained loyal to the Big and Small Cumulative Feature Update delivery schedule. Under the strategy of “Windows as a Service”, Microsoft has been sending out two feature updates every year. While one rolled out in April or May, another arrived in October or November.
It seems Microsoft will stick to Windows as a Service model for Windows 11. It would be a risky option to suddenly start asking for an upfront payment for a new version of Windows.
Gotta love Hanno: "[After launching the leaked version] we were required to provide a product key to activate Windows 11. Fortunately, we had an old unused device on hand which had a Windows 7 Starter product key." https://t.co/aK0j9aVaIy
Microsoft still sells licenses for using Windows 10. However, it still offers a legitimate and free upgrade path to the OS for Windows 7 hold-outs.
Now, evidence suggests, the company will offer an easy and free upgrade path to nearly all previous versions of Windows OS. The only condition is to own a legitimate license for the operating system currently installed on the PC.
Media Creation Tool or Update Assistant configuration tools suggest free upgrade:
PC owners with legitimate or genuine licenses for Windows 10, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1 can upgrade through Windows Update to Windows 11. The recently leaked build of the latest iteration of Windows OS offers proof.
Configuration keys found within Pkeyconfig (Product Key Configuration Package) suggest that an upgrade path exists for Windows 7, 8, 8.1 users. In other words, the latest OS version reportedly includes the required configuration files that can allow Windows 10, 7, 8, or 8.1 to update directly using official tools.
It is important to note that the leaked build is clearly experimental and hence, not final. This also means Microsoft might just alter or scrap the plan to offer a free upgrade path.
WINDOWS 11 CAN BE ACTIVATED WITH WINDOWS 10 KEYS – a viewer just confirmed this on our Discord. pic.twitter.com/lEcWimOTcJ
— TechteamGB (@TechTeamGB) June 15, 2021
In case Microsoft allows free upgrades to Windows 11, PC users could easily purchase a genuine license for Windows 10. Thereafter, install Windows 10, and use the official update tools available within the OS to upgrade to Windows 11.
Microsoft will offer Windows 11 through the company’s own servers. There will also be several other options such as Windows Update, WSUS, Media Creation Tool, and Update Assistant. Even other connected PCs in the organization, that have already obtained the updates, could serve as a legitimate source for updating to Windows 11.