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More Windows PCs are now getting the free upgrade to Windows 11

Windows 10 Upgrade auf Windows 11Image: Ralf Liebhold/

If you have a Windows 10 computer, Microsoft will offer you a free upgrade to Windows 11. Provided the hardware of the Windows 10 computer is compatible, otherwise Windows 11 will refuse the installation. Microsoft has now released a large number of Windows 10 PCs that were previously not allowed to install the upgrade for the Windows 11 upgrade.

Microsoft had been denying Windows 10 computers with an 11th-generation Intel Core Processor and Intel SST driver version or (the SST stands for “Smart Sound Technology”) the upgrade to Windows 11 since November 2021. With this hardware driver combination, recurring blue screens of death could occur after installing Windows 11.

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Resourceful Windows users could only solve this problem by updating the Intel SST drivers themselves. Those who did this independently were then able to switch to Windows 11 free of charge. However, Microsoft refused to upgrade all other PC owners with the described combination of CPU and driver.

As of today, however, this problem has generally been solved. From now on, all affected Windows 10 users with the chip and driver combination described above can download and install the latest Intel SST drivers via the Windows update function.

As soon as Windows 10 has installed the driver update, you can upgrade to Windows 11. However, Microsoft emphasizes that it could take another two days before Windows 10 offers the upgrade to Windows 11. You can find the official release of the Windows 10 PCs previously blocked for the upgrade on this status page from Microsoft.

It is not known why Microsoft took until April 12, 2024 to finally make the drivers, which have long since been adapted by Intel, available via Windows Update and lift the upgrade block.

However, if Windows 10 does not offer the driver update after all, PC owners should contact their PC manufacturer for the driver update.

Windows 10 is clearly in the lead

It remains to be seen whether this will significantly increase the market share of Windows 11. According to Statcounter, Windows 10 is still by far the most popular desktop operating system (March 2024: 69.05 percent market share among all Windows systems). Windows 10 even managed to gain market share slightly in March 2024, whereas Windows 11 lost market share slightly (March 2024: 26.68 percent market share among all Windows systems).

According to Statcounter, all Windows systems together had a market share of 72.47 percent in March 2024. MacOS is well behind with 14.68 percent.

This article originally appeared on PC Welt and was translated from German to English.

Hans-Christian Dirscherl schreibt seit über 20 Jahren zu fast allen IT-Themen. Sein Fokus liegt auf der Koordination und Produktion von Nachrichten mit hohem Nutzwert sowie auf ausführlichen Tests und Ratgebern für die Bereiche Smart Home, Smart Garden und Automotive.

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