Six years after the launch of Windows 10 we have seen the arrival of a completely new version of Windows. The initial build experience shows that Windows 11 is a lot of fun. Although Microsoft has not announced anything, it is likely that users will get a free upgrade to Windows 11 like what happened with Windows 10.
What is Windows 11?
Windows 11 is the next version of Windows, and it’s theoretically the first new version of Windows to be released since Windows 10 was introduced six years ago. That is quite a long time because before that, Microsoft released a version of Windows 10 every three years.
However, the reason Microsoft does not release a new version of Windows is because Windows 10 is updated quite often. Instead of getting new features every two to three years, in a year Windows 10 gets feature updates up to 2 times.
Objectively, Windows 11 is not a completely new version of Windows but just Windows 10 with a very different interface. Some differences on Windows 11 inspired by Windows 10X have just been killed by Microsoft.
What effect do the above have on updating?
If you are using Windows 10, installing Windows 11 is like installing a feature update of Windows 10. Based on current leaks, the update process is seamless and all user data is preserved.
If you are using Windows 10 with a valid license, you can upgrade to Windows 11 easily, no big deal. In fact, you can reinstall Windows 11 from scratch on your machine and activate it right away.
The good news also comes to users who are using Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. Microsoft has not confirmed but Windows 11 contains configuration files for users upgrading from the above versions of Windows. Windows 10 is a free upgrade to the above versions of Windows, and it looks like Windows 11 will be too.
The difference is only in how you install the update. Windows 11 will not be available through Windows Update, so Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users will have to use Microsoft’s Media Creation Tool. When installing, Windows 11 will find your license key and convert it into a valid license key for Windows 11.
If you’re using Windows 8, you’ll need to update to Windows 8.1 before you can install Windows 11.
There is a difficult thing
The catch, however, is that upgrading Windows 7 to Windows 11 can wipe out your apps, settings, and customizations. If a Windows 7 computer meets the system requirements for Windows 11, that computer will not be allowed to migrate directly to the new operating system, but will only be allowed to do a clean install. This is because PCs running Windows 7 are not offered a direct upgrade method to Windows 11. So the only way to upgrade to Windows 11 is to start from scratch.
A new support document from Lenovo India (based on Microsoft data) suggests Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1 users can upgrade to Windows 11, but this will only happen when they install Windows 11 from or install Windows 10 first and then upgrade to Windows 11.
For Windows 10 users with supported hardware, they can upgrade to Windows 11 for free through Update, WSUS, Media Creation Tool, and Update Assistant. If the minimum requirements are not met, you can skip the TPM 2.0 requirement, upgrade the hardware, or try other workarounds.
Most existing devices will be upgraded to Windows 11. Users have the choice to upgrade, clean install, or reinstall Windows 10 devices to migrate to Windows 11.
If you plan to upgrade your Windows 7/Windows 8.1 device to the official version of Windows 11, keep in mind the apps that you use frequently.
Of course, you can go back to Windows 10 if you don’t like the new Windows. To reinstall Windows 10 while keeping your files and data, you need to roll back to Windows 10 within 10 days. If you want to downgrade after 10 days of installation, you need to backup your apps manually and do a clean install.
The most important thing to remember is that Windows 11 and Windows 7 operating systems are significantly different, but Microsoft ensures your existing applications will continue to work.
“Compatibility is in Windows 11. So your existing apps will continue to work if they work on Windows 7/8.1/10. If you have App Assure (a business-only service), Microsoft will help you fix them for free.
Microsoft is doing everything to make Windows a unified platform. Since the launch of Windows 10, Microsoft has regularly shared about the number of devices running this operating system. At the Build conference in May, CEO Satya Nedalle announced that there are 1.3 billion devices running Windows 10.
Note: Windows 11 is not a free operating system. You still have to pay for Windows 11 license if you want to install it legally. You can only upgrade to Windows 11 for free if you have previously purchased a license to Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.