I can't say I'm not surprise; Microsoft has a habit of annoying me and screwing over students. We may as well have a quick look as to what is in the "student" edition of Windows 7 - which you'll see isn't as easy as you might think.
On campus - Windows 7 EnterpriseThe Enterprise edition has the same features as Ultimate, except Enterprise only comes with a volume licence. That, in essence, means you won't be able to buy it and allows universities to buy it in bulk for a cheaper price.
As you'd expect, it has every feature that you'd possible imagine; domain joining, location-aware printing, BitLocker (which is useful for the IT staff so they can protect their computers), multiple languages for international students, and other bits and bobs.
Off campus - Windows 7 Home/ProfessionalNo longer are the days of "Home Basic", but "Home Premium" makes a comeback, along with another edition, "Professional". When buying a new laptop or computer, they'll most likely give you Home Premium as they always have done. Buying the Professional edition is an option, but it'll cost you a hell of a lot more and you'll have to go into a shop to buy it.
Either way, these two editions do not suit the needs of students fully. Here's a little table courtesy of Steven Bink which explains things:
Encryption is important, and so is location aware printing (for finding printers near your physical location); both of these are available in the Professional edition, but not the Home Premium. Forget AppLocker (locks down applications to other users), DirectAccess and BranchCache (both in conjunction with the sister-server operating system), but look at the others.
Multiple languages are essential for international students, and so is having BitLocker and BitLocker To Go. Why aren't these part of these editions? Security is absolutely essential for laptops, especially when those money-grabbing snot-nosed Cambridge (meh) students come-a-knocking.
Microsoft is once again making a massive mistake. Do they even consider students anymore, or am I just wasting my time?