More Windows PCs can now upgrade to Windows 11 for free.

 Since November 2021, Microsoft has been refusing free upgrades to Windows 11 for certain Windows 10 computers. Microsoft is now lifting the ban. These computers will now get Windows 11 for free.
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If you have a Windows 10 computer, Microsoft will upgrade you to Windows 11 for free. The condition is that the hardware of the Windows 10 computer is compatible, otherwise Windows 11 will refuse to install. Microsoft has now released a large number of Windows 10 PCs that were previously not allowed to install Windows 11 upgrades.

Since November 2021, Microsoft has been refusing to upgrade Windows 10 computers equipped with 11th Gen Intel Core processors and Intel SST driver versions 10.29.0.5152 or 10.30.0.5152 (SST stands for “Smart Sound Technology”) to Windows 11. The driver combination may cause repeated blue screen crashes after installing Windows 11.

Resourceful Windows users could only resolve this issue by updating their Intel SST drivers themselves. Those who did this independently could switch to Windows 11 for free. However, Microsoft refused to upgrade all other PC users with the described CPU and driver combination.

However, as of today, this issue has been mostly resolved. From now on, all affected Windows 10 users with the above-mentioned chips and driver combination can download and install the latest Intel SST drivers via Windows Update.

Once Windows 10 has installed the driver update, you can upgrade to Windows 11. However, Microsoft emphasizes that it may take up to two days for Windows 10 to offer the upgrade to Windows 11. You can find out on this status page where Microsoft blocked the upgrade before the official release version of Windows 10 PC.

It is currently unclear why Microsoft waited until April 12, 2024, to finally provide these long-adapted Intel drivers through Windows Update and lift the upgrade barrier.

However, if Windows 10 does not ultimately provide driver updates, PC users should contact their PC manufacturer for driver updates.

Windows 10 remains clearly dominant

Whether this will significantly increase the market share of Windows 11 remains to be seen. According to Statcounter’s data, Windows 10 is still the most popular desktop operating system to date (March 2024: with a market share of 69.05% among all Windows systems). Windows 10 even slightly increased its market share in March 2024, while Windows 11 slightly lost market share (March 2024: with a market share of 26.68% among all Windows systems).

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