Microsoft has quietly started selling Windows 11 licenses

Daniel Sims

Posts: 508   +20
Staff
What just happened? When Microsoft released Windows 11, acquiring it involved either upgrading from Windows 10 or buying a pre-built PC. Recently, Windows 11 licenses mysteriously appeared on the Microsoft Store, making the OS installation a little easier for new custom builds.

Microsoft started selling Windows 11 licenses on its store within the last few weeks without telling anyone. Windows 11 Home and Pro versions cost the same as Windows 10 licenses, but this can remove a step for many users looking to quickly install Windows 11.

PCMag only discovered the Windows 11 store pages recently, but it's estimated this happened sometime in May. Windows 11 Home and Pro digital licenses cost $139 and $199, respectively.

The new store listings primarily help users who build PCs, need to buy a new license, and want to immediately install Windows 11. The main methods of installing Microsoft's latest operating system are to either upgrade from within Windows 10 or buy a PC that includes Windows 11.

DIY builders can also create a Windows 11 boot drive or boot disc, but activating it usually involved an older Windows license or key until now. More advanced users can also download a Windows 11 ISO.

Per Microsoft's FAQ, Windows 11 is a free upgrade for Windows 10 PCs that are running the most current version of the operating system, and meet the minimum hardware specifications. That latter part was met with a ton of controversy, although there are ways to skip over TPM requirements.

Microsoft hasn't said anything about its new Windows 11 installation option, and it isn't clear why. Perhaps it's better business for the company to sell Windows 11 packaged in new PCs.

Permalink to story.

 

TheBigFatClown

Posts: 1,018   +431
Windows 10 barely gave users any incentive to install it. Windows 11 actually gives you DIS-incentives to "upgrade".

I'm not a fan of all the telemetry data that they collect. But I do think both Windows 10 and 11 are good operating systems.
They are pretty much the defacto standard for the best games to play. And some of the platforms software applications are amazing.

If they ever try to sell Windows as a service...then that would make me unhappy.
 

mrtraver

Posts: 512   +279
I'm surprised they still charge for Window's licenses at all. Other than a watermark and the lack of a few minor personalization settings, it runs fine without a license.
 

ZedRM

Posts: 1,059   +748
The main methods of installing Microsoft's latest operating system are to either upgrade from within Windows 10 or buy a PC that includes Windows 11.
Part of this article is nonsense! While buying keys for Windows 11 may not have been available through the store(really who cares?), buying them elsewhere, such as retail or OEM copies, has been available for purchase since launch day. I bought 3 and got them the same day.

If you folks are going to write an article, could you do some fact-checking or proof-reading before making it live? The inaccuracies displayed in this article leave much to be desired professionally.

I'm surprised they still charge for Window's licenses at all. Other than a watermark and the lack of a few minor personalization settings, it runs fine without a license.
Some people actually PAY for the software they use instead of free-loading.
 
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tomkaten

Posts: 302   +274
buying them elsewhere such as retail or OEM copies has been available for purchase since launch day. I bought 3 and got them the same day.

Don't tell us, on some too-good-to-be-true Chinese site full of cheap software? We've got news for you :)

I've tried Win11 on a couple of my machines, but I don't like it. It uselessly complicates some things that used to be easy and intuitive in Win10, and the worst offender in my book is the new file association "feature" that drives you nuts for programs that handle many file types (like VLC, for instance).
 

Raytrace3D

Posts: 342   +420
Don't tell us, on some too-good-to-be-true Chinese site full of cheap software? We've got news for you :)

I've tried Win11 on a couple of my machines, but I don't like it. It uselessly complicates some things that used to be easy and intuitive in Win10, and the worst offender in my book is the new file association "feature" that drives you nuts for programs that handle many file types (like VLC, for instance).

Yeah, adding steps and burying features (or removing them completely) is not what I would call an "upgrade". I tried Windows 11 in a VM and tried my best to get use to it but after a month I found my productively nose dived and some of my app development tools were not compatible which was the nail in the coffin for me.
 

Versutus

Posts: 68   +44
Some people actually PAY for the software they use instead of free-loading.

Windows is free. Paying is optional. If you wanna get rid of the watermark and unlock the otherwise locked features you have to and should buy it. Don't act like downloading Windows for free (which is available for years) from the official site and using it for free (which is intended) is a bad thing. Because it's not. It's a free piece of software with optional paying.
 

Fastturtle

Posts: 75   +41
This actually means that folks building a new system instead of buying can get Win11 if they want. It'll improve the adoption though I have to wonder why in Frog's name you'd buy Win11 when Win12 is supposed to be released in 2024 (EOL for Win10). MS basically admitted that 11 is the same as ME, Vista and 8, thus not worth buying
 

Athlonite

Posts: 338   +126
LOL @ MS charging $199 for windows 11 pro I paid $11.47 for a windows 10 Pro key and then just upgraded for free
 
LOL @ MS charging $199 for windows 11 pro I paid $11.47 for a windows 10 Pro key and then just upgraded for free
exactly, and those cheap keys sold as windows 10 key, are actually windows 7 and 8 keys not yet used, they work for 10 and 11 so no one needs to know the difference, you can test it by trying to activate windows 7 or 8 with it to see witch you bought.
 

Athlonite

Posts: 338   +126
exactly, and those cheap keys sold as windows 10 key, are actually windows 7 and 8 keys not yet used, they work for 10 and 11 so no one needs to know the difference, you can test it by trying to activate windows 7 or 8 with it to see witch you bought.
To be honest it could be a windows 3.11 key for all I care as long as it works that's all I'm worried about
 

ZedRM

Posts: 1,059   +748
To be honest it could be a windows 3.11 key for all I care as long as it works that's all I'm worried about
That kinda shows your age. Old enough to know what Windows 3.11 was, but too young to know that there were no products key's before Windows 95..
 

Athlonite

Posts: 338   +126
That kinda shows your age. Old enough to know what Windows 3.11 was, but too young to know that there were no products key's before Windows 95..
LOL I'm old enough to have used windows 1.0 when it first came out and DOS 1.0 on 5.25" floppies at 53 I've been building my own and other peoples PC's since the 286/ 287 math coprocessor days

And yes I did realise that 3.11 has no key except the 1.68MB formatted first 3.5' floppy disk
 

Athlonite

Posts: 338   +126
Microsoft never distributed any software on 1.68MB floppies, and again there were no product keys of any kind until Windows 95.
LOL then why were both my retail copies of Win 3.11's 1st floppy on 1.68MB formatted floppies then explain that oh and so was the first floppy of the windows 95 upgrade set. Unless you've tried to copy them you wouldn't know I always made a backup of those disks so I know how they were formatted
 

neeyik

Posts: 1,926   +2,251
Staff member
LOL then why were both my retail copies of Win 3.11's 1st floppy on 1.68MB formatted floppies then
ZedRM is possibly being very specific about this, on the point of a technicality. Microsoft used DMF (Distribution Media Format) which had the same total capacity as the 1.68 MB format, but differed in terms of cluster sizes and root directory entries.
 

Athlonite

Posts: 338   +126
ZedRM is possibly being very specific about this, on the point of a technicality. Microsoft used DMF (Distribution Media Format) which had the same total capacity as the 1.68 MB format, but differed in terms of cluster sizes and root directory entries.
yup that's the bugger I just couldn't remember what it was called it's been a very long time. It was a bugger to copy without a disk copying program that knew how to do DMF

Also to ZedRM I was being just a little sarcastic about serial key