Forget Snow Leopard: now Windows 7 is $30, or maybe $19

Psst! Want Windows 7 for $30? How about $19? First, you'll need to "legitimately" qualify. Read on to discover the secret handshake. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers whisper the secret.

By Richi Jennings. September 18, 2009.


Your humble blogwatcher selected these bloggy morsels for your enjoyment. Not to mention another Error'd...

Emil Protalinski has the 411 on 741:

Microsoft today announced students would be able to purchase upgrade versions of Windows 7 for a significantly reduced price. ... ($30). More information is available at ... Eligible students are allowed to purchase one copy of either Windows 7 Home Premium or Windows 7 Professional from the online store.


A valid e-mail address given by a college or university must be used. ... Many college and university students can already get Windows 7 Professional for free through the MSDN Academic Alliance (MSDNAA) but this is offer is aimed at those who cannot.

Kevin Spiess seeks additional info:

It seems that you'll be able to upgrade to Premium or Professional, so it is unclear as to why anyone would choose Premium. Anyways: keep in mind you'll need a valid, existing copy of Windows to upgrade from. But if you don't have a valid copy of XP or Vista, it appears that you can be extra thrifty (and somewhat sneaky) by getting a valid beta code for the beta version of Windows 7, download that for free, install that, and than upgrade from there.


Students will verified by their email address: so you'll want one that ends in the suffix ".edu". ... Public Service Announcement: Being a student can put you in rough financial shape, but if you can pick up an OS that could conceivably last you 5-8 years or more, you just might want to skip a couple of pizzas, and a few cases of beer, to grab this deal while it is available. Or use Linux!

Why would Microsoft do this? Nick Wingfield knows:

Microsoft is about to find out whether it can prevent further defections to the Macintosh among college students by charging less for Windows 7 than a typical textbook.


Windows 7 will be an important test of whether Microsoft can slow or reverse Apple’s momentum in the higher-education market. ... In recent years, the Mac has undergone an amazing resurgence on campuses. Records kept by the University of Virginia show the Mac accounted for 37% of the computers owned by first-year students at the school in 2008, up from about 3% in 2000.

Rob Kerr, also suggests:

Microsoft might be targeting students because they're frequently users of illegally copied software.

  Also they're likely to have recently purchased a new PC for the start of the term. However, if they've purchased a computer with Windows Vista installed since June 26th they are entitled to a free upgrade to Windows 7 anyway.

British blogger Gordon Kelly always looks on the bright side of life:

So who can be annoyed about this? 1. The huge numbers of students that don't have a legitimate copy of either Vista or XP. 2. The usual types who bash on about "student dossers" (ignore them). 3. The meticulous students who made the effort to pre-order Windows 7 Home for £49.99 or Professional for £99.99 and thought they had a good deal. Ever read the tortoise and the hare? Now get moving, you're wasting valuable drinking time!

Ryan Wagner came across an even sweeter deal:

One of my friends told me about a pretty cool trick if you’re a student that doesn’t already have access to MSDNAA. You can join the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) for a mere $19, and as part of the membership you get access to the full MSDNAA catalog. In that catalog are both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 7.


So who qualifies for the student membership? Any high-school or undergraduate student according to their form. The organization does focus on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields though. For high-school students especially it would be tough to prove which “field” your focus is on since the curriculum is mostly general studies, but they may want to see related classes on your schedule.

Xavier Lanier winks:

Anyone with .EDU email address can order Windows 7 ... for just $29.99.


Of course if you’re not in college you might want to get creative.

So what's your take?

Get involved: leave a comment.

Don't miss out on IT Blogwatch:

And finally...

Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and spam. A 24 year, cross-functional IT veteran, he is also an analyst at Ferris Research. You can follow him as @richi on Twitter or richij on FriendFeed, pretend to be Richi's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email:

Shop Tech Products at Amazon