You’ll need Microsoft’s Windows 10 in order to get the free Windows 11 upgrade later.
If you’ve been holding out on upgrading to Windows 10, now is the time. Microsoft ended support for Windows 7 more than a year ago, and it wants holdouts to upgrade to Windows 10 to keep devices running securely and smoothly — particularly before Windows 11 starts rolling out this week. Windows 11 will only be available as a free upgrade for Windows 10 users. Anyone on older operating systems will have to pay for the upgrade. (Here’s how you’ll download Windows 11 when it’s available and how to check if your computer is compatible with the new OS. Plus, here’s everything you need to know about transitioning from Windows 10 to Windows 11.)
If you have an older PC or laptop still running Windows 7, you can buy Windows 10 Home on Microsoft’s website for $139 (£120, AU$225). But you don’t necessarily have to shell out the cash: A free upgrade offer from Microsoft that technically ended in 2016 still works for many people. With the potential new version of Windows right around the corner, now may be a good time to make sure you’re on the latest version to make any future updates easier.