Windows 11 has been available for almost a full year, but surprisingly, it hasn’t been officially available to purchase as a digital product key from Microsoft. Now, that has finally changed.
PCMag pointed out that Microsoft now sells Windows 11 Home and Windows 11 Pro as product keys on the Microsoft Store. The prices are identical to their Windows 10 equivalents: Home is $139.00, while Pro costs $199.99. Before now, the only official way to purchase a copy of Windows 11 was on a USB drive. Even though many PCs come with a Windows product key, the option to buy one is still helpful for people building their own computers, or anyone using Windows in a virtual machine.
Microsoft didn’t sell product keys specifically labelled for Windows 11, but you could perform a fresh install using a Windows 10 product key. The same situation was true in the early days of Windows 10, when many people successfully installed it using keys intended for Windows 7, 8, or 8.1. In fact, Windows 7 keys can reportedly still be used to activate Windows 11.
Microsoft is quick to note in the product pages that you still need a PC that meets the minimum system requirements for Windows 11. You can bypass some of the more strict requirements, but older PCs might run into problems. There’s also no 32-bit version of Windows 11, unlike Windows 10.
Even though you could technically already buy a key to activate Windows 11 from Microsoft — a Windows 10 key — the new store pages make it clear that you won’t have issues with the newest operating system.