Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 users cannot directly upgrade to the latest OS by Microsoft, Windows 11. Only those who are already on the latest build of Windows 10 can directly upgrade through windows updates.
There was a post recently on Microsoft’s German news site. It reveals the minimum versions for the Enterprise organizations and businesses.
Ab Ende des Jahres können Unternehmen berechtigte PCs direkt auf Windows 11 bringen, wenn sie Windows 10 Enterprise ab Version 1909 oder Windows 10 Pro ab Version 20H1 nutzen.
It is translated as below;
Starting at the end of the year, businesses will be able to bring eligible PCs directly up to Windows 11 if they are running Windows 10 Enterprise version 1909 or later or Windows 10 Pro version 20H1 or later.
Window 10 Enterprise 1909 and Windows 10 Pro 20H1 will be the minimum required versions to be eligible for Windows 11 upgrade. There is no mention of the consumer version. It’s most likely that 20H1 of Pro will be the required minimum for consumer-based devices as well.
In 2015, when Microsoft released Windows 10, Windows 7 and 8.1 users were able to upgrade directly. However, those running Windows XP or Vista were not able to directly upgrade even if compatible.
There were only two options to upgrade to Windows 10 back then. One was either to upgrade from Windows XP or Vista to Windows 7 first, then to Windows 10.
Similarly, it’s the same for Windows 7 and 8.1 users. They need to upgrade to Windows 10 first to be eligible for a direct upgrade to Windows 11.
Other than chaining upgrades, it may also be possible to clean flash Windows 11. However, all the installed programs, customizations, files on the drive won’t be available after the install. You need to backup first for this and install all the programs again.
The benefit of clean install will be that the system will run faster as it comes without ballast from two previous operating systems.
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