No direct upgrade to Windows 11 for Windows 7 PCs

Windows 7 Gray

Bummer. Windows 7 is no longer supported by Microsoft, as the fan favorite operating system that launched all the way back in 2009 reached end of life in January 2020.

Of course, this does not necessarily mean that everyone abandoned the classic platform soon after. There are many organizations that are still rocking Windows 7 with a relaxed mind, and in fact, many an end user, too.

In fact, according to the latest intelligence provided by StatCounter, the operating system has a worldwide market share somewhere in the range of 15.58%, making this the second most popular desktop OS yet.

So, you know, easily over a hundred million installations, give or take ten million.

And with the way Windows 11 is being developed, modern technology and hardware requirements and all that, it will obviously be a challenge for these older computers to support the new OS in the first place.

But even if they do, they will not be allowed to move to the new operating system directly. This is because Windows 7 PCs are not provided with a direct upgrade path to Windows 11.

Microsoft puts it in writing:

“Most devices available for purchase now will be upgradeable to Windows 11. You will have the option to upgrade, clean install, or Reimage Windows 10 devices to move to Windows 11. For Windows 7 devices that meet hardware requirements, you will need to clean install or reimage to go directly to Windows 11.”

So then, the only way you can get the new OS on your trusty old Windows 11 system is to go in with a clean install.

This is a process that requires additional work, especially when it comes to backing up data, meaning IT administrators have their work cut out. This is why Redmond is recommending them to plan the migration in advance for their entire network.

Oh, the joys of a new Windows release!