You can now buy a Windows 11 license direct from Microsoft -- but we know a cheaper option

Microsoft has finally made it possible to purchase Windows 11 product keys and download the software straight from its servers, an option that has been weirdly unavailable for the year the OS has been in existence. Windows 11 has been available as a free upgrade for quite some time now, but there are reasons for wanting to -- or at least needing to -- buy a copy of the operating system.

If you're building a PC from scratch, for instance, you'll need to install Windows 11 from scratch, and this means you can't take advantage of a free upgrade. But buying direct from Microsoft, while a welcome option, is far from being the only way to buy Windows 11, and it's certainly not the cheapest.

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Up until now, it has been possible to buy a USB drive containing Windows 11 from Microsoft, but it was not possible to just buy the digital license on its own. It has been possible to install Windows 11 using a valid Windows 10 product key, but the option to buy a separate Windows 11 license is something that will be appreciated not only by PC builders, but also by people looking to run Windows 11 in a virtual machine.

Microsoft now makes it possible to purchase and download Windows 11 Home and Windows 11 Pro, but the pricing is high and the same as for Windows 10. This means that Windows 11 Home costs $139.99 and Windows 11 Pro costs $199.99.

The listing pages for the digital downloads explains:

This version is designed for PCs that need a new license for Windows and meet the minimum system requirements ( for Windows 11. If your PC is running Windows 10 and you are unable to use Windows Update to install the free upgrade to Windows 11, you will not be able to install this version of Windows 11.

If you are in need of a Windows 11 license but find the price off-putting, take a look in our store. Here you can buy a discounted license for Windows 10 Home or Windows 10 Pro , and use this to qualify for a free upgrade to Windows 11. Windows 10 Home is available for just $49.99 instead of $139.99 (a 64 percent saving), while Windows 10 Professional costs just $69.99 instead of $199.99 (a 65 percent discount).

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