You can now purchase a Windows 11 license and download it directly from the Microsoft website, instead of upgrading from a version of Windows 10, the company has confirmed.
According to PCMag (opens in new tab), the change appears to have occured at some point in May 2022, however a lack of any press release or communication from Microsoft meant this change slipped through the net.
For many PC users, Windows 11 will already come installed or will be available as an upgrade for their existing machines, and has been since its launch in October 2021, but DIY PC builders have (up until recently) had to download a version of Windows 10, before upgrading from within that OS.
Download Windows 11 from Microsoft
A Windows 11 Home download can be added to an online cart and purchased (opens in new tab) for $139 (£119.99), which represents no price increase over the equivalent Home version of Windows 10.
At first, it appears that there’s no Pro version of the operating system, however this is found under another page (opens in new tab) on the Microosft website. Windows 11 Pro is available for $199.99 (£219.99) – the same price as Windows 10 Pro.
The ability to purchase a Windows 11 license should save PC builders time, who will no longer need to get it via the previous OS.
A processing speed of at least 1GHz, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, and a minimum nine-inch 720p display are some of the key requirements (opens in new tab) for DIYers to install Windows 11.
Windows 11 update 22H2 also brings with it greater control over security measures and offers more protection against malware.
We confirmed with a Microsoft store representative that the current downloads run on build number 21H2, and users should receive a notification when 22H2 is ready to download.