No new PC is complete without a fresh copy of Windows. And if you’ve built your own rig (congrats!), the PCWorld Software Store can help you snag a fresh, fully legal Windows license for a fraction of the price you’d normally pay at retail. And yes, that includes Windows 10 licenses that Microsoft no longer sells direct—though we’ve got Windows 11 covered, too.
Here’s what we’ve got. Pick your poison and hit those links:
Wondering if you should opt for Windows Home or Pro? Most people should just stick to Home and pocket the extra $20, but we break down Windows Pro’s pros and cons here.
Simply put, these are fantastic deals offering up to 65 percent off the usual retail price for a Windows license. Several members of the PCWorld staff—including yours truly—loaded up on keys once the PCWorld Software Store started offering them. They’re legit, too, so you won’t have to worry about your license suddenly being deactivated or needing to put a tedious call into Microsoft tech support to get them working, which happens all too often when you’re trawling for dirt-cheap keys on many software resale sites.
There are a couple finer points worth mentioning, though they shouldn’t surprise veteran PC builders.
This version of Windows 10 and 11, when installed, will be tied to a single PC and is non-transferrable. And it’s designed to be installed on a new or clean PC—upgrading from an older version of Windows is not supported. These limitations aside, you’ll still enjoy unlimited reinstalls (on the same machine), plus access to all future Windows updates, like those fancy new Windows 11 features coming next week.
If you’re unsure whether your PC is eligible for Windows 11 given its stricter requirements, hit this link and scroll down to the bottom until you see the “Download PC Health Check App” button in the compatibility section. It’ll download a Microsoft tool that informs you whether you’re good to go, or if you should stick to Windows 10.