Windows 11 Upgrades Will Be Free For These Legacy Windows Operating Systems

windows 11 wallpaper
We're a week away from Microsoft's big reveal of its next-generation Windows operating system. Unfortunately for Microsoft, its announcement was spoiled this week when an early Windows 11 build leaked to the internet, giving us a thorough look at the successor to Windows 10.

However, with a new version of Windows on the way, many people wonder how upgrades will work and what operating systems will support an in-place upgrade to Windows 11. It seems evident that Windows 10 users will get a free upgrade to Windows 11, but what about users that are still [for whatever reason] clinging on to Windows 8.x and Windows 7?

windows 7 pro

Well, the fine folks over at WindowsLatest did some digging into Windows 11 Build 21996.1 to see what previous versions of Windows are eligible for a free upgrade. Interestingly, it looks like people with a genuine license for Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 8.1 can upgrade to Windows 11 for free. But, of course, this is the same situation as current free upgrades to Windows 10.

As the publication notes, Windows 10 introduced the concept of Windows as a Service, which delivered consistent updates to the operating system over the past six years free of charge. There's no reason to believe that Windows 11 won't continue this same tradition, with two "major" updates a year and smaller cumulative updates in between. This will likely play out until the eventual Windows 12 bows sometime in 2027 (or thereabouts).

windows 11 desktop

We recently took Windows 11 for a spin, and the operating system is, for the most part, stable with performance that is comparable to Windows 10 (with a few exceptions). However, the most significant change comes with the visual overhaul that borrows from Microsoft's failed Windows 10X experiment. For example, the Windows 11 taskbar is now positioned centrally by default, and app windows now have rounded edges. In addition, icons have been revamped as part of the Sun Valley UI refresh, and there are various other touches throughout the OS that distinguish it from Windows 10 (many that we are still discovering as we continue to use Windows 11).

Microsoft's event to officially reveal Windows 11 will take place on June 24th at 11 am EST. The reveal will be live-streamed, so be sure to check it out.