If you are wondering, yes, you can activate an installation of Windows 11 with a Windows 7 product key. Therefore, you can also use a genuine Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 key. (See also this guide to learn the steps to active an installation of Windows 11.)
Recently, an early build of Windows 11 leaked onto the web, revealing an overhauled user experience and new features, and since it’s not officially available, users who got their hands on the preview found out that the operating system activates successfully with a Windows 7 product key.
This also means that it is likely that Microsoft could support the upgrade path from Windows 7 to Windows 11. If true, this could also mean that users may be able to upgrade their Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 devices to Windows 11 as well. Furthermore, if this is the case, we can assume that Windows 11 will be a free upgrade for devices already running an older version of the operating system.
While this is good news for consumers, it is not a big surprise since Windows 11 is not an entirely new system. Instead, it’s a more mature version of Windows 10 with a new user interface, so the same upgrade path available on Windows 10 should also be available for Windows 11.
In addition, this would not be the first time. When Windows 10 was first released in 2015, Microsoft offered the operating system as a free upgrade for devices running Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. The free upgrade was offered for a limited time. However, even after the promotion expired, users could still activate their devices with a genuine license from an older version of the operating system.
Microsoft is holding a special event to reveal the next generation of its desktop operating system on June 24. The virtual event will start at 11 AM ET / 8 AM PT, and it will be streamed live from the company’s website. During the event, we are expecting the software giant to share more details about the new UI overhaul, new features coming to Windows 11, as well as information about pricing and possible release date.