Like so many of the recent Windows 7 promotions, it's a limited time offer with more than a few caveats. But, details aside, Microsoft is offering college students Windows 7 for $29.99, according to a new deal announced on September 17.
The www.win741.com site has the details:
"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 at 12:00 am CST"
A frequently asked questions document, linked from the promotional site, has more details. Students may purchase one copy of either Windows 7 Home Premium or Windows 7 Professional. The FAQ advises:
"If your school requires Domain Join, then you might want to consider Windows 7 Professional, which will let you connect to your school network so you can take advantage of features like HomeGroup and Remote Media Streaming."
The FAQ also is up-front about the challenges in upgrading to Windows 7 from Vista:
"To upgrade easily from Windows Vista, you should upgrade to the same version you currently have in Windows 7. For example, if you’re moving from Windows Vista Home Premium with 32-bit software, it would be easiest to upgrade to Windows 7 Home Premium with 32-bit software. Most of the other upgrades require a custom (clean) installation, which is a fairly complex installation process that needs several steps and can take quite a few hours."
The guidelines for moving from XP to Windows 7, which are even more complicated, are there, too, in all their glory. Bottom line, according to the FAQ:
"Upgrading a PC with Windows XP to Windows 7 is an involved process. If you’re at all uncomfortable with it, please consider having the upgrade done by a local PC or electronics retailer."
The promotional site points to Microsoft's student site for a list of other discounts offered to the academic community.
Neowin, which first reported about the new promotion, said Microsoft is offering comparable deals for students in other geographies, including the UK, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Korea and Mexico, with exact pricing and details to follow.
Update: Microsoft is confirming Neowin's report: "(S)tudents in the UK can pre-order their copy beginning on September 30th (pre-ordered copies will be available for download beginning October 22nd). Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Korea and Mexico can participate in this offer on October 22nd (Windows 7 GA)."