Windows 7, Microsoft’s big bucket of bugfixes, hits stores tomorrow. If you had enough foresight to take advantage of Microsoft’s public beta and pre-order discounts earlier this year, you may already have a cheap version of the new OS. If not, here are a few ways to pick up Windows 7 now, without having to hand over $120, the lowest official price for an upgrade.
5. Check for retailer deals.
Many retailers will be offering discounts on new PCs with Windows 7 preinstalled, so if you’re in the market for a new computer, this could be a good time to get it if you’re willing to shop around. Alas, discounts on the software itself seem pretty limited; Newegg has the OEM version of Windows 7 Home Premium for $110 . One UK dealer is doing a Windows 7 doorbuster, selling half-price copies of the OS to the first 200 customers tomorrow. We haven’t seen any deals that good on this continent, but we’ll be looking out for them.
Daily Tech Deal: Windows 7 half price – Pocket-lint
4. Buy The Family Pack
If you have three PCs at home and want to upgrade all of them to Windows 7, you can get 3 licenses for $150. Yes, we know there are other ways to do this, but we’re keeping that “L” word in mind, and that makes this a pretty good deal.
Windows Anytime Upgrade and Family Pack Pricing – Windows 7 Team Blog – The Windows Blog
3. Try Windows 7 Enterprise.
So you missed the big beta blowout over the summer? Microsoft has a consolation prize that may help ease the pain. If you’re an IT type (or play one on TV), you can download a trial version of Windows 7 Enterprise for free, and try it out for 90 days. At the end of 90 days, you’ll have to install a commercial version if you want to keep using Windows 7, but by then you may have enrolled for half a credit at the local CC. Or convinced a neighbor’s kid to order it for you. Or decided to roll back to DOS.
Windows 7 Enterprise Trial
2. Be a college student.
This is the best deal available right now. You can get Windows 7 Home Premium for just $30, as long as you have a .EDU email address, or can otherwise prove that you’re a student. The offer is open to both full and part-time students, as long as you’re enrolled for at least half a credit.
1. Be any other kind of student.
Other students — including that first grader playing with his food over there — are eligible for discounts from retailers like Academic Superstore, where we recently saw Windows 7 Ultimate for $100, which is less than half of the official retail price. (Update: Some offers, including this one, aren’t shown to all users. This one didn’t show up for us until we “prequalified” by selecting our school from the form linked below.)
Of course, you can just skip it, especially if you’re still on XP and don’t have the stomach for the upgrade process, which involves backing up all of your files, wiping your hard drive, reinstalling all of your applications, and sacrificing a lamb on the altar of Ra. If you’re still on the fence, here are are a few reviews and upgrade guides from people who actually seem to enjoy spending their time testing out operating systems. And if you have any other ideas about Windows 7 bargains, add them to the comments.
Prep Your PC for Windows 7 [Lifehacker]
Windows 7 Review [ PC World]
Windows 7 Review: You Can Quit Complaining Now – Windows 7 review [ Gizmodo]
Breakingviews.com – Microsoft May Exceed Low Expectations With Windows 7 [NYTimes]
Windows 7: To Upgrade or Not to Upgrade [Consumer Reports Electronics Blog]