Windows 11 launched as a free upgrade for Windows 10 on Windows Update and as a download on Microsoft’s website about seven months ago, but there wasn’t a retail packaging for it until now. As spotted by Luke Blevins on Twitter, Best Buy now has official Windows 11 Pro & Windows 11 Home USB Flash drives for sale.
In terms of pricing, a Windows 11 Pro USB drive comes in at $200, and Windows 11 Home at $139. That’s the same price as Windows 10 Home, and Windows 10 Pro. This is also the same price as buying a Windows license from the Microsoft Store on Windows 11 post-install for activation if you do so with your own USB drive or media. However, if you opt to buy this, the difference is that you get a physical USB Flash Drive installer, a cool retail box, and an activation key for a single PC.
— Luke Blevins 🇺🇦 (@luke_blevins1) May 8, 2022
This official USB flash drive is really a huge benefit for folks who might not exactly be technically savvy and don’t have fast internet to download the Windows 11 ISO files on their own. Instead of downloading the operating system manually via Microsoft’s website and using the appropriate tools to create your own USB drive, you get a single one stop shop solution. Just buy and plug this drive into your PC, boot from it, enter in the provided product key, and Windows 11 will install without extra steps. Of course, you still need to meet the controversial minimum requirements to do so, or try your luck at one of the workarounds for installing the OS on unsupported systems.
The retail packaging looks to be pretty simple when compared to Windows 10’s. There’s no image of the desktop like on Windows 10 Home’s retail box, or an image of a tablet like on Windows 10’s Pro box. Rather, Microsoft just opts for a picture of the now infamous Windows 11 “Bloom” wallpaper. Windows 11 Home has the light mode look with a white background, and Windows 11 Pro has the dark mode look with a blue-dark background. That should not be a surprise as Windows 11 Home ships with light mode on by default, and Windows 10 Pro, dark mode on by default, except if changed by a PC maker.