You may now buy Windows 11 licenses directly from Microsoft (but shouldn't)

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 23, 2022
Windows 11 News

You may purchase Windows 11 Home and Windows 11 Pro licenses directly from Microsoft. While that may sound like the logical path to grab licenses, it is not the best deal that you can get.

windows 11 pro license microsoft

Windows 11 licenses come in handy in several situations. Computer users who prefer to build their PCs from scratch need to buy a license if they want to run Windows 11 on the device. Others may want to run Windows 11 in a virtual environment, e.g., for testing purposes or running software that is only available on Windows.

Windows 11 licenses

You have several options when it comes to obtaining Windows licenses. Buying a PC with Windows gets you one, but the license is often linked to the device. You may also buy retail copies at various online stores, or use third-party key resellers for that. PCs with Windows 10 may also be upgraded to Windows 11 free of charge, at least in home environments.

When you check out Microsoft's offerings on the official site, you will notice that the digital download of the license costs as much as a retail license.

Windows 11 Home is available for $139, and Windows 11 Pro for $199.99. That is the same price that you'd pay for a retail copy of Windows 11. In fact, you may purchase an entire PC with Windows 11 that is almost as expensive as the single license that you get from Microsoft.

On Amazon, you get a Windows 11 Home mini PC for $219 currently. At Best Buy, just one of the stores that is offering Windows 11 retail licenses, you'd get Windows 11 Pro USB Flash Drive for $199.99. At Newegg, Windows 11 Pro OEM DVD is available for $159.98 currently.

If you live in a region where key reselling is allowed, you may get better bargains still. A quick check at key reselling site G2A confirms that you may get a Windows 11 Pro license for as little as $35.08 at the time of writing. Licenses are sold for less than $5 in some stores and online marketplaces, but caution is advised if the deal sounds too good to be true.

Closing Words

You have several options when it comes to obtaining Windows 11 licenses. Buying directly from Microsoft is one of these options, but you pay a premium for that. Retail and online stores offer better deals, and while some of these may not be suitable for all use purposes, it is recommended to select the most suitable option out of the available ones.

Now You: where would you buy a Windows 11 license? (via PC Mag)

You may now buy Windows 11 licenses directly from Microsoft (but shouldn't)
Article Name
You may now buy Windows 11 licenses directly from Microsoft (but shouldn't)
You may purchase Windows 11 Home and Windows 11 Pro licenses directly from Microsoft. While that may sound like the logical path to grab licenses, it is not the best deal that you can get.
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  1. Reash James said on August 11, 2022 at 6:01 am

    I spend $35USD from the microsoft partner online store, I activated without problem , strongly recommend !!!

  2. TelV said on July 28, 2022 at 1:53 pm

    @ Martin,

    Are you saying that a machine with Windows 10 Pro installed can’t be upgraded to the equivalent Windows 11 version free of charge?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on July 28, 2022 at 5:38 pm

      No ;)

      1. TelV said on July 31, 2022 at 12:29 pm

        You had me worried there for a minute. :)

  3. Nayland Smith said on July 26, 2022 at 7:37 pm

    But if I buy a mini pc with Windows 11 how can I transfer the license to my own computer?

  4. Mike said on July 26, 2022 at 11:17 am

    Techpowerup has a few sponsors that offer Keys, they go on sale (you need a coupon code from TPU’s site) every couple of weeks or so for about half price. They offer Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC 2021 (and 2019) keys for $12USD (2021). I picked up 3 of those last week and they worked exactly as store bought OEM keys.
    Well worth it for full telemetry opt-out/no windows store junk app auto install/full access to all security features for enterprises/a feature update every 2-3 years/etc.

  5. Privacy Nut said on July 25, 2022 at 1:57 am

    I use the Win10Privacy to lock down the Enterprise LTSC 2H21. Then Autologon from SysInternals. Finally disabling UAC in the registry.

    I tried Win11 and its unusable from a home privacy perspective. For example you can no longer disable the MS servers in the hosts file. Privacy settings are moved into the WinNt Kernel itself or the TPM.

    As for Linux skip any distribution that forces you to sign-in or use proprietary stores. I use Debian Testing release which is kept up-to-date current using the 4.18 kernel. Excellent privacy and uses same packages as the Raspberry Pi400 OS. The Synaptic Package Manager Update is flawless. The portable versions of the LibreWolf browser are here

  6. Microsoft the cowardly lion said on July 24, 2022 at 8:24 pm

    Since when do I need a “license” for my Operating System?

    I’m not a fucking animal which needs to be licensed and chipped.

    Fuck you Microsoft. Linux still has you trembling in your boots. Fuck WSL.

  7. qdw said on July 24, 2022 at 7:34 pm

    thing with reselling sites like g2a. you don’t know they are legit keys. could have been bought with stolen credit cards, for example. shouldn’t promote shady places like that.

    1. Covarr said on July 25, 2022 at 5:33 pm

      Agreed completely. G2A in particular has a long, storied history of shady behavior, of reselling stolen keys, and then customers being out of luck if the key gets deactivated. Everyone loses except the reseller.

  8. Diptra said on July 24, 2022 at 5:12 pm

    Imagine getting all triggered about Windows still dominating desktop Market-share even if it is *technically* not free, and throwing tantrums why people would rather use Windows than one of the million distros of Linux for free.

    But it is funnier when dummies complain about how ‘expensive’ Windows is, but guess what? if you people used a little the brains, you would save $200 by using the old nice trick to get Windows for free, completely for free. It is your fault Microsoft never cared to patch that? nope.
    OEMs still pay their licenses, and they are the reason Microsoft makes money off it, when you change your Motherboard and you are not even using a new computer, but somehow you need to buy a new license, then it seems just unfair having to do that.
    I would rather use Windows than Linux, because Linux only advantage is that it is free, what else does Linux offers? not much really, unless you are using some specific Linux only software, but then since Windows got the Linux Subsystem then I see less reason to go and run Linux and having to mess with Wine and glitches and having to do the annoying hunting of files to edit so you can do the simplest things. Windows just works and that’s the problem with Linux, it’s dumb to waste time in useless crap when all that matters if your games or programs just run.

    1. Frankel said on July 24, 2022 at 5:33 pm

      Bet you felt smart typing all that.
      A real intelligent person would never brag about committing a crime.
      Besides piracy doesn’t belong on this site.

  9. g. said on July 24, 2022 at 11:13 am

    I have bought one of those “used” OEM keys way back when for Windows 8.1 for around $5 if I remember it right. I had to activate it using the phone, but it registered just fine, and I’ve been using it ever since, now with Windows 11. If you live in the EU or some other place, where reselling licenses is allowed by law, then I see not much of a reason to pay more for it.

    1. Frankel said on July 24, 2022 at 1:11 pm

      No not under price:

      If you have gotten away with it, that’s your luck. But many people who purchased them were prosecuted in the last few years in Germany:

      Many of these keys are chinesium sourced. I would advice against it if you live in a country with strict and hard laws such as Germany. If you are lucky to live in another country I congratulate you, but I still advise against it. Your call.

      1. g. said on July 24, 2022 at 9:48 pm

        I looked through that thread, I listened to that lawyer talk about it in the video someone posted in it, and it looks like the German police just completely overreaching. I bought my key from a store that had good opinions, they advertised it as used (I don’t remember the exact wording, but something along the lines that it’s from older decommissioned business machines) which is not illegal to sell or buy, so good luck trying to pin anything on that. It looks like they’re just looking for idiots who don’t even try to argue their case. Also, if Microsoft accepts the key with activation on their server, where I’m sure they could refuse to activate a license that was actually obtained in a shady manner, then that too says a lot imo. These aren’t the days of Windows 98 anymore where you can pass a pirated key along to thousands of people and Microsoft having no clue how many times it is used. They know who activates what and can easily block illegal licenses, so either they’re not illegal or Microsoft doesn’t care. Basically, as far as I’m aware, my key is 100% valid. Used licenses are perfectly ok to use.

      2. Frankel said on July 24, 2022 at 10:10 pm

        Oh they are overreaching, but that still means you have to defend yourself. You see, they will try no matter what.The district attorney will try to press for the maximum penalty, even if it is unrealistic. Germany has some very corporate friendly higher regional courts.

        I think you are missing the point here. Where is the scare factor for the average Joe if only the key seller is punished? Where is the horror if the worst thing that could happen to you is the key being deactivated?

        This is a classic power move to scare small people about having to deal with excessive consequences.

  10. 1337 said on July 24, 2022 at 6:39 am

    Sell me an Enterprise or LTSC key, Id buy that.

    1. Gerold Manders said on July 24, 2022 at 9:08 am

      Couldn’t agree more. Those are the only 2 versions worth shelling out for. The ‘Pro’ edition hasn’t been worthy of that name for 2 or 3 years now. ‘Home’ editions are an absolute joke.

      2 Months left on the guarantee period of the new laptop I bought with Windows 11 S (which allowed conversion to Windows 11 Home edition). After that, it will be Linux. I’m currently typing this on a 6 year old laptop, which got messed up by Microsoft relentlessly updating Windows. No problem until the manufacturer of all the networking hardware in that laptop decided to retract all drivers.

      Linux (Pop!_OS v20.04) was installed on it and has been the more trusty workhorse since. Audio is great, replaced the HDD with an SSD, the touch screen works excellently, the battery properly charges again, dual screen and multi-finger track-pad also works fine, as does the card reader. Right from the get-go. As in: no need to alter anything in GUI or command-line, all hardware devices recognized and correctly configured.

      80% of the software tools I was using on Windows was readily available on Linux as well, so my workflow was only very slightly affected.

      Look, if Windows works for you, great. Just here to tell that Linux on the desktop is not nearly as bad as it is often portrayed to be. And I use it now for almost a year as my daily driver for remote working from home. Have been using Windows professionally since Windows 3.1, liking it since Windows Server 2000 and even had no issues with the directional changes inside Windows 8. Even owned and operated happily a Windows Phone for 4 years.

      Windows 11 does not do it for me. And it is not even the interface, so much functionality that has been part of Windows since Windows Server 2000 has been either removed or replaced with inferior code. The ‘dummy-fication’, the adverts, lack of functionality, the ‘wanting to be like Apple’-mentality, it all adds up as just too much.

      Enterprise and LTSC versions of Windows shield one from most of all the current day crap Microsoft thinks it should subject their users to. The lack of nagging from Linux is blissful, Enterprise and LTSC versions come close to that blissful state of computing, hence there is their reason for existing.

  11. Lindsay said on July 24, 2022 at 5:29 am

    I use They currently ask $10.40 for a Windows 11 Pro key. Comes complete with the download. Office Professional Plus is also available for $17.44. Have bought keys from here with no problems for several years.

  12. Anonymous said on July 24, 2022 at 1:54 am

    the mere thought of paying $200 for a modern version of wangblows actually makes me feel physically ill

  13. Richard Steven Hack said on July 24, 2022 at 1:27 am

    I have bought keys from URCDKey – Windows 11 for $28.27, Windows 10 for $19.56, and another Windows 10 From KeysBuff for $19.08.

    No problem with any of them, they registered fine with Microsoft.

  14. VioletMoon said on July 23, 2022 at 11:21 pm

    Site G2A–thanks, Martin. Had never heard of or seen the site. Looks promising if one wants to purchase Office 2021.

    Should I assume that I can purchase a Pro license/key and upgrade Home to Pro?

    The price MS is asking is prohibitive for most users. I think that’s why anyone from Europe, especially old Eastern Bloc countries, are Linux users with excellent CLI skills.

    Didn’t I read that German government switched to Linux years and years ago? Yes, with Wine nearly all programs are compatible with Linux.

    I thought MS provided an Windows 10/11 .iso for VirtualBox usage. Not right?

  15. lophis said on July 23, 2022 at 10:18 pm

    If they charge that much, they should have an option to turn off all telemetry and remove all the ads they integrated into the OS.

    1. Nanon said on July 14, 2023 at 10:20 pm

      I completely agree. Windows fans keep crying “Google has telemetry too” but at least they provide their services for free. Microsoft makes you pay a premium, then still treats you like a free user.

      1. owl said on July 15, 2023 at 10:14 am

        > Windows fans keep crying “Google has telemetry too” but at least they provide their services for free. Microsoft makes you pay a premium, then still treats you like a free user.

        Well, Same difference.
        But there is a large difference, Google’s deceit is clearly the worst (Snowden’s confession).
        At the very least, Microsoft’s telemetry appears to be “not intended for sale to third parties.”

        I don’t intend to take Microsoft side,
        but Most of those telemetry are data collection for product quality improvement and future product development/improvement (marketing strategy). For example, aircraft and race cars are also improving their performance with “telemetry”.
        The problem with these telemetries is that they require (excessive) system resources. In other words, the system (device) requires more power, the system requirements rise, the device (or parts) need to be replaced.
        And it goes against the viewpoint of energy conservation.

      2. owl said on July 15, 2023 at 10:20 am
      3. Nanon said on July 18, 2023 at 5:43 am

        I doubt that with Edge giving you the ease of mind at setup asking if you want telemetry disabled, then you realize there is a separate setting for third party ads unaffected, not included with the other settings. It is easy to find but real issue is the false sense of security given.

  16. JaneHopper said on July 23, 2022 at 9:38 pm

    No one should be buying Windows 11. $200 for a crippled alpha quality operating system that steals your data and pushes advertisement into your face. You are being ripped off.

    Hopefully by end of Windows 10 life, the idiots in charge of Windows 11 are fired. Windows 12 needs to rebound Windows. People need a professional and functional operating system like Windows 7.

  17. J. Tripper said on July 23, 2022 at 6:42 pm

    what with the picture being blurred? cant post a public website screenshot, just curious is all

    1. Trey said on July 24, 2022 at 7:40 am

      If you squint your eyes just enough you’ll see the Microsoft version of goatse. Windows 11. Very naughty.

    2. boris said on July 23, 2022 at 9:22 pm

      Looks like pixilated porn

  18. g said on July 23, 2022 at 6:36 pm

    Shitty Windows plus rapid release cycle (3y) plus expensive plus have to reinstall software every 3y, not my cup of tea.

  19. John B said on July 23, 2022 at 6:19 pm

    I bought my Windows 10 Pro copy from a third party because I did not want M$ getting all $200 – no one should buy direct from them period.

  20. WindowsSucks said on July 23, 2022 at 4:33 pm

    I have no plans to upgrade to Windows 11.
    I have started to shift to Debian with the couple of apps that aren’t available natively running quite happily under Wine.

    Windows is way to large and full of holes and I’m pretty sure Microsoft is happily collecting and reselling all the data it can with telemetry even when you “presume” you have disabled it.

    11 is just a pig.

    1. Anonymous said on January 26, 2023 at 3:05 am

      yall are so worried about windows but forget about google’s advertisements tracking you across almost every single decently popular website on the internet

      1. Nanon said on July 14, 2023 at 4:40 pm

        Google’s services are free though. Try to think before you post.

  21. Hillary S said on July 23, 2022 at 4:00 pm

    “You may now buy Windows 11 licenses directly from Microsoft (but shouldn’t)”

    I agree, we shouldn’t buy Windows 11 licenses

    1. Frankel said on July 24, 2022 at 10:27 am

      Who is this “we” some people keep talking about? Your actions. Not mine.

    2. Anonymous said on July 24, 2022 at 12:16 am

      Stupid comment! Because Windows doesn’t suit you doesn’t mean it is not right for others (despite the issues. If you want to badmouth and organisation for the hell of it, try Mozilla. Their latest Thunderbird buggered up my email accounts. During the many years I used it, Outlook ran smoothly but Microsoft copped far more flack about it.

      Meanwhile you should continue to use whatever system suits your needs best.

      1. Hillary S said on July 25, 2022 at 11:25 pm

        “If you want to badmouth and organisation for the hell of it, try Mozilla. Their latest Thunderbird buggered up my email accounts.”

        How much did you pay for your Thunderbird license? You should ask Mozilla for a refund.

      2. Hillary S said on July 25, 2022 at 11:20 pm
      3. Corky said on July 24, 2022 at 10:54 am

        @Anonymous: Berates someone for bad mouthing a company, proceeds to bad mouth a company, the hypocrisy is strong in this one.

        Also if Thunderbird buggered up your email accounts and you no longer wish to use it your free to use another email client because email is not exclusive to one company. The same cannot be said of Windows with its many proprietary API’s like Win32, DirectX, DCOM, UWP, WMI, etc, etc.

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