Windows 7, Office 2010 Now Dirt Cheap for Students

Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft is running a special offer allowing students to upgrade to Windows 7 for just $29.99. They can also buy a special academic edition of Office 2010 for $79.95 outright.

The upgrade offer is for the Professional edition of Windows 7. That's effectively the midway point between Home Premium (the edition most home users will be running) and Ultimate (the most feature-filled and expensive edition for individuals). Compared with Home Premium, the Professional edition offers some extra features which might not appeal to students, such as easier company network connections, but one which might be useful: a Windows XP mode that can run older software.

Vista or XP Required for Upgrade-only Deal

As it's an upgrade edition, the user will need a legal copy of XP or Vista already on their machine. Unless they are running Vista Professional, they'll need to perform a clean install which will effectively wipe the hard drive, so they'll need to back-up their data and settings and restore them once Windows 7 is in place. (Source:

The Office deal is for the software outright rather than an upgrade deal. It covers the new editions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, Publisher and Access. The package is known as Office Professional Academic 2010 and is technically only allowed to be used for academic rather than commercial purposes. That said, the license is "perpetual" and will still be valid after the student graduates.

There is also a similar deal which makes the Office language pack available for $9.99.

Deals Include Verification Process

There are two conditions for the deals. First, the student must be enrolled in a US educational institution and be "actively enrolled" in at least 0.5 course credit. Second, they must either have an email address ending in .edu, be at an institution which doesn't have .edu addresses but is on a pre-approved list, or submit other evidence of enrolment such as a copy of their student ID. (Source:

The offers must be redeemed by filling in an online form at Microsoft's web site and using a valid address. The student will then receive a link to a download site, though the software can be supplied on disc for an extra fee:

Microsoft has run similar offers in the past: at one point Vista was available at a reduced price in a program billed as "the Ultimate Steal". However, the $29.99 Windows 7 upgrade certainly appears to be the best offer the company has made available to students.

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