Windows 7 to Windows 11 pipeline shut down by Microsoft
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Windows 7 to Windows 11 pipeline shut down by Microsoft

Microsoft Shuts Down the Windows 7 to Windows 11 Pipeline

You can no longer get free Windows 10 and 11 access if you upgrade from Windows 7 or 8. However, you can still go from 10 to 11.

No, it doesn’t go to 11, at least not anymore if you were hoping to upgrade to Microsoft’s latest Windows OS using the old Windows 7 backdoor.

After a long-running arrangement, Microsoft has officially put an end to the option that allowed users with Windows 7 and Windows 8 product keys to upgrade to Windows 11 for free by first going through the Windows 10 upgrade path. Last month, Microsoft posted an update on its device partner center, stating that the transition from Windows 7 to Windows 11 was no longer possible. However, some users had reported that they could still use their older OS keys to access the company’s newest operating system. Unfortunately, that option is no longer available.

In the previous month, Neowin attempted to access the latest Windows 11 beta Canary build using a Windows 7 product key, but this attempt proved unsuccessful. Up until then, these keys were effective in activating the Windows 11 version 22H2. However, on Wednesday, The Verge verified that these keys no longer work to activate the older OS version. While the key could still be used to install the operating system, it would not allow users to activate the product with it.

The free upgrade program was initially introduced in 2015 with Windows 10, even extending the invitation to old Windows pirates to upgrade their software. Microsoft initially promised users one year of free upgrades, but thanks to some loopholes related to Microsoft’s Accessibility Site, this period quietly extended to two years, and it continued to be extended. Now, eight years later, Microsoft has finally put an end to the pathway from Windows 7 to Windows 11.

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Windows 7 has been obsolete for quite some time, with Microsoft discontinuing all security updates for Windows 7 and 8.1 earlier this year. Windows 10 is also on its way out, with Microsoft planning to end all software support for the older OS on October 14, 2025. By obtaining a Windows 7 key and upgrading with it, Windows 11 Home users have been able to bypass the $130 base price.

It’s worth noting that you can still upgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 11 for free, although some users may be hesitating due to Windows 11’s more prominent “features.” The September update from last year was a significant one for the OS, introducing features like File Explorer tabs and the Focus Session feature. However, Microsoft’s extensive integration of AI chatbots throughout the operating system has been somewhat overwhelming for many.

Also Read | Microsoft launches new web app store for Windows

As a result, Windows 12 may not be as anticipated as the previous versions (e.g., Windows Vista and 7 or Windows 8 and 10). There have been vague rumors suggesting a potential release of a new Microsoft OS in 2024. Without concrete details, we can only speculate that the next Windows version may heavily emphasize AI. It remains to be seen whether Microsoft will allow users to transition directly from Windows 10 to Windows 12, leaving Windows 11 behind, or if they’ve learned from their previous experiences.

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