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Microsoft to offer upgrades to Windows 7 for $30 to college students.
Its a good time to be a student, thanks in part to a sweet Windows 7 discount from Microsoft

Windows 7 is getting closer to its October 22 launch date.  With improved security, better compatibility, and a slick new look, the OS should please owners of both powerful and underpowered machines alike.  Microsoft has already offered hot pre-order deals, but now it has announced its sweetest deal of them all.

Students with a valid student email address are eligible to get a copy of Windows 7 Home Premium or Professional, 32-bit or 64-bit (your choice, presumably some might pick the lighter Home Premium for netbooks) for a mere $30.  And with one announcement, Microsoft has essentially matched Apple's OS price point for one of its most pivotal demographics -- students.

Apple beat Windows 7 to the market and has been loudly trumpeting that its Snow Leopard -- priced at $29 per license -- beats Windows 7 in prices.  However, students in the U.S., U.K, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Korea and Mexico will now have their pick between the two competitors at virtually identical prices.

With Snow Leopard, students will get several key improvements (virtually all of Apple's core software was fine-tuned and sped up), but the release falls somewhere between a full Windows OS release and a Windows Service Pack.  For an equivalent price they can get Windows 7, a full OS release packing many features that have drawn rave reviews from early adopters.  The deal is sweet for users of traditional PC hardware and Macs alike, as even Mac users can take advantage of it to equip their Boot Camp Macs with Windows 7 for gaming and Windows-favored activities.

The deal is found on the site, a recently launched site from Microsoft, which calls the offer "too sweet to pass up."  The site proclaims, "For a limited time, eligible college students can get the sweetest deal on Windows 7 - for only $29.99 USD.  That's less than most of your textbooks! Hurry -- offer ends January 3, 2010 and 12 a.m. CST."

One major appeal of the deal is that with Windows 7 and a netbook, students get about the most portable and affordable bundle possible for a fully functional computer.

The move seems a smart one, given that Apple does have Microsoft beat on standard prices, with a copy of Home Premium (upgrade) retailing for $120 and $200 for a Professional upgrade (versus $29 for Snow Leopard).  With the price bar set nearly four times as high as Apple's, the pressure is on Microsoft to deliver a dynamite product -- which indications show it will.

Still, Snow Leopard's aggressive pricing has caused it to double the initial sales of its predecessor, Leopard, and quadruple the sales of Tiger.  Apple has also been much more aggressive in targeting school children, with programs such as "Field Trip to the Apple Store" in the U.S. and Canada.  Many schools continue to use Mac computers primarily.  All of this bodes well for Apple's long term success.  However, Microsoft is at last making a legitimate bid to seize this important demographic from Apple.

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Home Premium or Professional?
By AWeav09 on 9/18/2009 11:02:57 AM , Rating: 2
The store is only giving me the option of purchasing a Home Premium upgrade... not a Professional upgrade.

Don't get me wrong, it's still a great deal, and one that I will definitely take advantage of.

RE: Home Premium or Professional?
By ratbert1 on 9/18/2009 11:15:59 AM , Rating: 5
There is another link on the page that says something like "do you need to connect to a domain?". You click that and it takes you to the Pro page.

RE: Home Premium or Professional?
By AWeav09 on 9/18/2009 11:18:18 AM , Rating: 2
Ahhhh I really should have put two and two together when I saw that... thanks a lot though.

RE: Home Premium or Professional?
By CloudFire on 9/19/2009 5:21:26 AM , Rating: 2
Silly question, but I can't seem to find exactly where it is, can you specify a little more in detail ratbert? :) thanks!

RE: Home Premium or Professional?
By dagamer34 on 9/18/2009 11:18:17 AM , Rating: 2
You need to look for when it asks if you need to join a domain for your school. You have to have gotten an e-mail from Microsoft after giving them your e-mail address first. Don't worry, you'll be able to purchase Professional for $30.

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