Got rid of your CD drive? Don’t worry; the Windows 11 retail box doesn’t contain an installation disk.
For a while now, the only way you could get Windows 11 was either via a Windows 10 upgrade or downloading the ISO online. However, Microsoft is now introducing a new retail box for its new operating system… but its contents may not be what you expect.
Microsoft’s New Windows 11 Boxes
As spotted by Neowin, the US store Best Buy has put up Windows 11 retail boxes for sale. And if Microsoft wills it, there’s a good chance that you’ll begin seeing these boxes pop up worldwide.
The boxes come in two colors; a clean white for the Windows 11 Home edition, and a dark blue for the Pro version. And interestingly, the pricing matches up with Windows 10’s retail versions: $139.99 for Home, and $199.99 for Pro.
So, what’s in the box? Given how CD drives aren’t a guarantee on PCs anymore, the boxes contain a Windows 11 USB drive with the installation files stored on them. As such, as long as your computer has a USB slot (and it should!) then you’ll be good to go.
Are Physical Installation Mediums Still Popular?
It’s interesting to see Microsoft publish physical media in this day and age. With so many easy ways to download and install Windows 11 online, it may be baffling why Microsoft continues to sell boxed versions.
However, the internet is still not quite a perfect vessel for downloading big files like Windows 11. Some ISPs still have unstable, slow internet, which would make downloading a whole operating system slow. And others still use data caps which a download would quickly ruin.
As such, Microsoft has likely made this move based on data that suggests that physical retail products are still worth selling. And as long as people struggle to download large files online, there’s a good chance they’ll continue to be a thing for the foreseeable future.
Windows 11, Now in a Box
If you’ve been looking to purchase Windows 11 in box form, now’s your chance. While it’s currently only available from Best Buy, it should be a matter of time until it’s at a computer store near you.