Windows 11 has been around for over half a year at this point, but if you want to buy a physical copy of the OS, now is the time to do so. Until now, the only way to get Windows 11 was to upgrade your Windows 10 PC or buy a new PC with Windows 11 out of the box. However, recently it has been seen that you can now buy yourself a physical copy of Windows 11 Home or Pro.
Retail copies were first spotted over the weekend by Twitter user Luke Blevins (via ONMSFT), but they may be available a little longer than that. Best Buy listings for the products indicate that they were first made available on April 14, almost six months from the official launch. Still, since Microsoft never announced that physical copies were available for purchase, many people probably didn't realize it.
Of course, at first glance there's no point in buying a physical copy. Most laptops already come with Windows 11, and if they come with Windows 10, you can upgrade yourself. You can also just buy the license online. But the physical copy gives you a USB flash drive to use as installation media right out of the box.
Sure, you can use any flash drive to install Windows 11, but it makes the process easier if you're setting up a new PC you just built, for example. Plus, you get a small box if you're collecting this kind of thing. The box itself features the Windows 11 Bloom background prominently and it uses a light theme for Windows 11 Home or a dark theme for Windows 11 Pro, which makes for a more attractive packaging than Windows 10.