December 8, 2023

Microsoft is now not permitting customers to activate Home windows 11 utilizing a Home windows 7 or Home windows 8 key. The corporate had quietly introduced the change two weeks in the past, however Paul’s personal testing confirmed that it was nonetheless attainable to make use of Home windows 7/8 keys to activate the newest steady model of Home windows 11 (22H2) in addition to the model 23H2 that’s obtainable within the Launch Preview channel.

Nevertheless, Microsoft has now confirmed to The Verge that the loophole has been closed for good. Home windows 7/8 keys now not work to activate Home windows 11, so customers might want to buy a brand new license. Nevertheless, upgrading from Home windows 10 to Home windows 11 continues to be free in case your PC meets the minimal {hardware} necessities.

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Microsoft’s free improve provide for Home windows 7/8 units formally ended July 29, 2016, however till now, the corporate nonetheless allowed these customers to improve to the newest model of Home windows without cost. When you can truly set up and use Home windows 10 or Home windows 11 with out a legitimate license, you gained’t have entry to all options, together with fundamental ones corresponding to personalizing your desktop background or accent coloration.

It’s now been two years since Home windows 11 has been in the marketplace, and Microsoft has simply launched an enormous replace with over 150 new options together with the brand new AI-powered Copilot assistant. In accordance with Statcounter, the OS presently has a 24.73% market share, with Home windows 10 nonetheless dominating at 71.03%. The latter might be supported till October 2025, so it would possible stay the preferred model of Home windows 10 for fairly some time. The truth that core Home windows 11 options such because the Taskbar and File Explorer have been rebuilt from the bottom up and are nonetheless being labored on might also push some Home windows 10 customers to be affected person.

With Microsoft now anticipated to return to a three-year growth cycle for Home windows releases, we may even see Home windows 12 launch subsequent 12 months with an elevated targeted on AI. Home windows 11 left many units behind with a strict set of {hardware} necessities, and will probably be fascinating to see if Home windows 12 will do the identical.