Windows 7 and 8 users might get a free upgrade path to Windows 11

nanoguy

Posts: 800   +12
Staff member
Rumor mill: There are still 100 million PCs out there that run Windows 7, many of them for good reason, despite the fact the OS no longer receives official support. If it has any chance of ever convincing those customers to upgrade to Windows 11, the process needs to be free of charge -- and that may well be the case, according to a new leak. Now let's hope that it won't also bother people the way the old Windows 10 upgrade tool did, fingers crossed!

As we inch closer to Microsoft's big reveal event for Windows 11, all the leaks and hints point to a visual refresh that will arguably bring the Windows experience into the modern era and in line with Microsoft's new design language. What could have ended up as a separate OS called Windows 10X is guiding this new release, and the Redmond giant is also set to introduce a redesigned Windows Store.

However, there's one other aspect that matters just as much, and Microsoft is no doubt hard at work cooking up a solution: how to get Windows 7 users to upgrade from the now 11-year-old OS. For Windows 10 users, the next version of the operating system is expected to be a free upgrade, although that will need to be confirmed, and this could also extend to Windows 7 holdouts.

According to a report from Windows Latest, a leaked build of Windows 11 includes a configuration package that suggests Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 users will have a direct upgrade path to Windows 11 using official tools provided by Microsoft. Additionally, the configuration keys found within the product key configuration package indicate this upgrade could be offered at no cost.

On one hand, you should take this with the proverbial grain of salt, as we're talking about a leaked build and Microsoft has yet to reveal the official upgrade path from Windows 10, let alone from previous versions. On the other, there's reason to believe Microsoft will do this, as the financial impact would be minor and the company used a similar strategy to get users to update to Windows 10. Not only that, but the initial free upgrade promotion that was supposed to end in 2016 still works to this day, letting you use a valid Windows 7 or Windows 8 key to upgrade to Windows 10.

If Windows 11 is indeed offered as a free upgrade, Microsoft should learn from the many blunders caused by forced Windows 10 upgrades in the past. That decision was motivated by an ambitious plan to reach one billion devices in a relatively short amount of time, but now that Windows 10 is installed on 1.3 billion devices, the only way Windows 7 users will finally make the move to the new Windows is to let them do so whenever they're ready.

Judging from the reaction of people who've installed the leaked build, Windows 11 should run well even on old hardware, as long as it supports TPM 2.0 and Secure Boot.

Permalink to story.

 

psycros

Posts: 3,498   +4,186
"Judging from the reaction of people who've installed the leaked build, Windows 11 should run well even on old hardware, as long as it supports TPM 2.0 and Secure Boot."

Tried installing Windows 11 on a 7-year old machine that runs Windows 10 just fine. AMD CPU (Phenom II or the one right after it I think), AMD RX 550, 16gb RAM and 500gb drive. Up comes the "you don't meet minimum requirements" message and install stopped.
 

yRaz

Posts: 3,725   +3,733
100 million Windows users may turn their OS up to 11
I'm going to shove a pigeon down the throat of every person that makes that joke

"Judging from the reaction of people who've installed the leaked build, Windows 11 should run well even on old hardware, as long as it supports TPM 2.0 and Secure Boot."

Tried installing Windows 11 on a 7-year old machine that runs Windows 10 just fine. AMD CPU (Phenom II or the one right after it I think), AMD RX 550, 16gb RAM and 500gb drive. Up comes the "you don't meet minimum requirements" message and install stopped.
To be fair, it is a "leaked" version. I wouldn't get too worried until the official release. On that note, I have a feeling that MS intentionally "leaked" W11.
 

Adhmuz

Posts: 2,166   +963
Installed it on a VM yesterday morning and used a Windows 7 Pro key to activate it without any issues, the host hardware is X99 based for what that's worth. Runs as can be expected, still the same Windows under the hood as far as I can tell, just a new GUI which I already don't care for.

Looking forward to all the angry people who get upgraded and then lash out about the new GUI, I already expect to run a shell replacement on any machine I upgrade to this OS, problem solved no need to make a big deal about this.
 

RudyBob

Posts: 81   +81
I'm going to shove a pigeon down the throat of every person that makes that joke


To be fair, it is a "leaked" version. I wouldn't get too worried until the official release. On that note, I have a feeling that MS intentionally "leaked" W11.
It's a good joke if ya get it
 

psycros

Posts: 3,498   +4,186
I'm tired of windows. Soon I will be running 7 just for games and zorin for the rest

If I could get GPU scaling on Linux I'd be sorely tempted to run Manjaro and never look back. Its the only distro that actually "just works" for me and I've tried all the big ones. Steam on Linux runs about 80% of my games, too.
 

Burty117

Posts: 4,141   +2,125
Installed it as a VM on my Microserver. It does kinda feel like Windows has been OSX'ified.
 

amghwk

Posts: 1,055   +969
I can still use an old Windows 7 key to activate a new install of Windows 10 today. Even using the same key on another machine. (Though I have left Windows ecosystem for Linux, I still need to maintain certain Windows laptops for school purposes for my niece, where the teachers only know how to use Windows).

I believe Windows 11 will still be free for all, just like Windows 10.
 
Last edited:

tygrus

Posts: 22   +8
Early builds often have lax criteria for activation. Compatible hardware may change over time. YMMV
This is really just the platform for the current development, the early fork from Windows 10 which just changes the version number & logo.
Much of the new version is probably a work-in-progress of what they are removing, the replacements & the new.
 

arrowflash

Posts: 432   +466
"Judging from the reaction of people who've installed the leaked build, Windows 11 should run well even on old hardware, as long as it supports TPM 2.0 and Secure Boot."

Tried installing Windows 11 on a 7-year old machine that runs Windows 10 just fine. AMD CPU (Phenom II or the one right after it I think), AMD RX 550, 16gb RAM and 500gb drive. Up comes the "you don't meet minimum requirements" message and install stopped.

I've seen other people complaining about this "your PC doesn't meet minimum requirements" error message. I think maybe it's a beta software bug.

Was it a fresh install, or were you trying to upgrade a Windows 10 install? I've seen one guy say that he got this message when trying an upgrade install, but installed fine after formatting and doing a fresh install.
 

zamroni111

Posts: 190   +130
This has little impact as we are anyway forced to buy new windows license every time we buy new laptop or other kind of branded pc.
More over since 8.1 era, oems use windows digital license planted in bios which we can't legally reuse in other device.
 

zamroni111

Posts: 190   +130
I can still use an old Windows 7 key to activate a new install of Windows 10 today. Even using the same key on another machine. (Though I have left Windows ecosystem for Linux, I still need to maintain certain Windows laptops for school purposes for my niece, where the teachers only know how to use Windows).

I believe Windows 11 will still be free for all, just like Windows 10.
It's not free. Microsoft isn't charity organization.
We can't opt out windows license when buying new laptop or branded pc.
And that license is digital license planted in bios which we can't legally reuse in other devices
 

Nobina

Posts: 3,148   +3,049
I don't see the point of releasing a reskinned W10. All the major issues (for me) from W10 are preset it seems.
 

amghwk

Posts: 1,055   +969
It's not free. Microsoft isn't charity organization.
We can't opt out windows license when buying new laptop or branded pc.
And that license is digital license planted in bios which we can't legally reuse in other devices

What is this "digital license planted in bios" you're talking about?
 

Ravey

Posts: 301   +131
If I could get GPU scaling on Linux I'd be sorely tempted to run Manjaro and never look back. Its the only distro that actually "just works" for me and I've tried all the big ones. Steam on Linux runs about 80% of my games, too.


Wasnt GPU scaling for linux recently announced? pretty sure I seen an article on it on here somewhere!
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 6,137   +4,409
Judging from the reaction of people who've installed the leaked build, Windows 11 should run well even on old hardware, as long as it supports TPM 2.0 and Secure Boot.
:rolleyes:
The requirement for TPM 2.0 and, especially, Secure Boot, means the hardware cannot be that old. I have one Windows 7 PC left. A Dual core Opteron 1220, and I doubt it will run on that. Incidentally, that PC boots up much faster than a 6-Core Ivy Bridge X Xeon that I have that runs Windows 10. :rolleyes:
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 6,137   +4,409
I've seen other people complaining about this "your PC doesn't meet minimum requirements" error message. I think maybe it's a beta software bug.

Was it a fresh install, or were you trying to upgrade a Windows 10 install? I've seen one guy say that he got this message when trying an upgrade install, but installed fine after formatting and doing a fresh install.
Here we go again. M$ "Spend hours reinstalling every piece of software you have already installed on our new latest, greatest, built especially for you POS OS because we are far too lazy to provide a simplified upgrade path."

I don't know about others, but I am getting rather tired of this "do a fresh install" response from M$ especially after one of my PCs failed an update and the only thing M$ "tech support" could say was "do a fresh install." Like everyone in that situation has time to spend reinstalling everything if something goes wrong with an "upgrade" that just will not run.
 

BadThad

Posts: 581   +606
Surely, the dummies at MS will mess-up the UI, happens every time. I'm most worried about the age old Control Panel versus Settings windows. They better NOT remove functionality in the name of "improving" the OS for the ignorant.
 

Ludak021

Posts: 474   +353
Does this "windows 11" have vector GUI finally?! If not, that's a shame, seeing them being super lazy still.