Will you be able to upgrade to Windows 11 for free?
When Microsoft released Windows 10, it made the decision to offer free upgrades for devices running Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, provided that these devices were activated with a genuine license. A core reason for the free upgrades was Microsoft's 1-billion devices running Windows 10 goal, which it failed to reach in the projected time. Even today, it is possible to upgrade machines running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 for free to Windows 10.
The upcoming official unveiling of Windows 11, Microsoft's next operating system, will reveal several important tidbits about the operating system. One question that many customers may have is, whether the upgrade to Microsoft's new operating system will be free.
Microsoft has not revealed anything in regards to upgrades to Windows 11 from existing copies of Windows, and whether these updates will be free or not.
One thing that has been confirmed already is that upgrades from Windows 10, but also from devices running Windows 7 or 8.1 will be supported.
It makes sense to offer upgrades from earlier versions of Windows and not just Windows 10, considering that it is in Microsoft's interest to make sure that most of its customers move to the latest version of the operating system that it supports.
Windows 7 ESU support will run out in less than 2 years, Windows 8.1 support ends in January 2023, and Windows 10 support will end in 2025.
Will Windows 11 be a free upgrade?
It is likely that Windows 11 will be a free upgrade for consumer devices. Microsoft needs to move the majority of Windows 10 customers to Windows 11 quickly, considering that Windows 10 will run out of support in 2025 and that the last thing that it wants is another fiasco in which many devices are not upgraded to the new version of Windows; this happened when Windows XP ran out of support, and again with end of support for Windows 7.
The most likely scenario has Microsoft offer free upgrades to all home customers who operate devices with Windows 7, Windows 8.1 or Windows 10.
The offer would entice many to upgrade their devices to Windows 11 right away, giving the new operating system a solid user base right from the get-go.
If Microsoft would not offer free upgrades, Windows 11 would see a slower rise in user numbers as customers might be reluctant to upgrade to the new version of Windows.
Why change a running a system, especially if the alternative includes having to pay for the upgrade. The main reason for upgrades is support, but even that is not a convincing enough argument for some users of Windows. In fact, there are still plenty that run unsupported copies of Windows on their devices.
Microsoft will reveal information about Windows 11 next week. Whether the reveal will include information about upgrades, and whether these will be free, remains to be seen.
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