You'll No Longer Be Able To Activate Windows 11 With A Windows 7 Product Key

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Microsoft is pulling the plug on free upgrades from Windows 7 and 8 to newer versions of Windows 11. A message posted by Microsoft on its Device Partner Center indicates that the path to upgrade to Windows 11 and 10 using a product key for Windows 7 has been removed, meaning that you can no longer use these keys during setup to activate your Windows 11 machine. If you recall, when Microsoft introduced Windows 10 back in 2015, it promised a free upgrade path to Windows 10 for one year only, and that offer ended on July 29, 2016. Of course, it never actually became impossible to upgrade to Windows 10 for free, though Microsoft wasn;t very open about this being possible after the initial offer. Even after Windows 11 launched, the upgrade path remained open, allowing anyone with compatible hardware to get the upgrade.

Now, that path has been removed, according to Microsoft's announcement (spotted by DeskModder). According to DeskModder's report, at the time of writing, it's still possible to activate an installation of Windows 11 version 22H2 with a Windows 7 product key, but this does not work in the latest Insider build in the Canary channel. It's not clear when exactly this upgrade path will be removed from stable versions of the OS, but we've reached out to Microsoft for further clarification.

DeskModder also notes that activation of volume keys using KMS is also no longer working, and Windows can only be activated via Microsoft Activation Scripts (MAS). These changes only affect new upgrades, of course. If a key has already been used to activate Windows 10 or 11, it will remain activated. Additionally, the upgrade path from Windows 10 to Windows 11 is also still open, so that particular path won't be affected. Given that these two operating systems have a lot in common underneath, it's likely that you'll always be able to upgrade from Windows 10 to 11. The upgrade to Windows 11 is basically like any other feature update that Windows 10 received throughout its lifespan, so there's not as much of a hurdle as there was with Windows 7 and 8.

Source XDA Developers
 

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