Microsoft and PC makers launch new Windows 7 promotions for grads and students

When PC makers think about promotion dates, May is the real start of the graduation/back-to-school cycle. To that end, Microsoft and its OEM partners are gearing up with new Windows-7-focused offers, the first of which kicked off this past weekend.

When PC makers think about promotion dates, May is the real start of the graduation/back-to-school cycle. To that end, Microsoft and its OEM partners are gearing up with new Windows-7-focused offers, the first of which kicked off this past weekend.

There are three new deals Microsoft and its partners are offering:

1. Sony VAIO E series laptop loaded with Windows 7 Professional and a free Blu-ray disc drive upgrade starting at $799.99. Sony also is providing a $90 credit towards the purchase of movies. (THe fine print: Only available to U.S. residents through May 29, 2010.)

2. Amazon.com offering $50 off on select Windows 7 notebooks and netbooks. Available models are from Dell, HP, Gateway, Asus and more. (The fine printe: Only available to U.S. residents through May 29, 2010.)

3. Dell Studio XPS 13 with Windows 7 Home Premium, Office 2007 Home & Student (with a free upgrade to Office 2010 Home & Student) and free shipping for $989. (The fine print: Available through the Microsoft Store only. U.S. residents only through June 25 or while supplies last.)

Microsoft officials noted that the Windows Anytime Upgrade is one promotion that is still ongoing. As part of that promotion, users can move from Windows 7 Starter to Windows 7 Home Premium ERP $49.99 (normally $79.99); or Windows 7 Home Premium to Windows 7 Professional ERP $79.99 (normally $89.99). The Windows Anytime Upgrade offer ends in the U.S. on July 3.

Microsoft is hinting more Windows 7 promotions will be coming later this summer and will be touted on www.windows.com.