Microsoft Shuts Down the Windows 7 to Windows 11 Pipeline

Microsoft Shuts Down the Windows 7 to Windows 11 Pipeline | The Enterprise World

Microsoft Shuts Down the Windows 7 to Windows 11 Pipeline, Microsoft has finally terminated the longstanding arrangement that permitted those with Windows 7 and Windows 8 product keys to upgrade to Windows 11 for free by first going through a Windows 10 upgrade process. Last month, Microsoft issued an update on its device partner center, announcing the discontinuation of the Windows 7 to Windows 11 installation path.

No longer activate the previous OS version

However, users had reported that up until now, older OS keys were still effective in gaining access to the company’s latest operating system. That’s no longer the case. Neowin attempted to utilize a Windows 7 key to access the latest Windows 11 beta Canary build last month but was unsuccessful. Initially, these keys could activate Windows 11 version 22H2. Nevertheless, as of Wednesday, The Verge confirmed that these keys no longer activate the previous OS version, nor do they permit product activation.

The free upgrade program was initially introduced in 2015 with Windows 10, even extending an invitation to users of older Windows versions. Microsoft originally offered a one-year window for free upgrades, which was discreetly extended to two years due to certain loopholes related to Microsoft’s Accessibility Site. This two-year window further extended and continued for eight years until Microsoft finally put an end to the Windows 7 to Windows 11 upgrade path.

Windows 7 has long been obsolete, and earlier this year, Microsoft ceased all security updates for both Windows 7 and 8.1. Similarly, Windows 10 is slated to lose software support on October 14, 2025. Resourceful Windows users have been able to circumvent the $130 cost of Windows 11 Home by procuring a Windows 7 key and using it to upgrade their devices.

Microsoft ends Free Upgrades from Windows 7 to Windows 11

No concrete details available

While it’s still possible to upgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 11 for free, some users who haven’t made the switch may be trying to avoid some of Windows 11’s more controversial features. The major update from September introduced significant changes to the OS, including features like File Explorer tabs and the Focus Session feature. However, Microsoft’s extensive integration of AI chatbots into the OS has proven to be quite overwhelming for some users.

This raises questions about the potential future of Windows 12, despite the conventional belief that every other Windows version is an improvement over the previous one (e.g., Windows Vista to 7 or Windows 8 to 10). Although there are some loose rumors about a new Microsoft OS in 2024, with no concrete details available, one can only speculate whether the next Windows version will be heavily centered on AI, allow users to transition from 10 to 12 while leaving 11 behind, or whether Microsoft has learned from its past experiences.

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