Windows 11 SE will only be available on new PCs, cannot be reinstalled if removed

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(Photo: Microsoft)
Now that Windows 11 SE has broken cover, questions abound for experts wondering what the chances are of installing it on older laptops, updating it, etc. Microsoft has provided some answers in a long PDF of questions and answers document, and the TLDR version is “no, you can’t”.

According to Microsoft, you can only acquire Windows 11 SE by purchasing a new device, and that’s it. If you have an older laptop that is struggling under the weight of Windows 10, you’re out of luck if you think simplified Windows 11 SE will be your savior, because it’s not happening. The reasoning is actually quite simple, according to the document, “Windows 11 SE is not intended for personal use. We expect most customers to find Windows SE too restrictive on a personal device.”

On a similar note, if you were thinking of buying the $ 250 Surface Laptop SE and then installing Windows 11 on it (it comes with Windows 11 SE pre-installed), Power actually do or go with any licensed version of windows, but you may never be able to reinstall 11 SE. Again, the document states: “… if you want to use a Windows 11 SE device for personal use, you can purchase a license for the version of Windows you want, completely erase all data, files, settings, favorites and the Windows 11 SE operating system on the device and install the licensed version of Windows. After that, there would be no way back to Windows 11 SE. ” However, this does not necessarily rule out reinstalling 11 SE via the recovery partition.

The Start menu in Windows 11 SE is quite lean (Photo: Microsoft)

That said, it would probably be wise to avoid installing Windows 11 SE on your personal device. It is an operating system designed to be administered by an IT department, not a local user. This means you can’t install native third-party apps, as you can only run “web apps” in Edge or Chrome. To clarify, “App installation, advanced features and settings changes are controlled by IT administrators rather than end users for this specialized version of Windows 11”.

None of this is truly surprising. Most end users wouldn’t want a super stripped down OS on their computer with a ton of headaches included, and it’s not like you can just buy a copy of Chrome OS for your device, so Microsoft isn’t alone here. Not to mention, you may not even be able to buy a device with Windows 11 SE installed, as it looks like they will only be sold to similar schools and organizations. Microsoft notes in its Q&A that “you may” be able to purchase one as an individual, which doesn’t look too promising.

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