Microsoft has introduced a special pricing scheme for full time and part-time students, academic staff and everyone else who has an educational email ending with ac.uk; they will be able to purchase Windows 7 for £30 only.
The introductory price will be available from the 30th of September to the 3rd of January 2010 and will include the 32 and 64-bit versions of Windows 7 Home Premium and Professional.
The savings can be quite substantial; someone buying Windows 7 Professional on the 2nd of January will be saving £189.99 off the suggested retail price of £219.99. That's a staggering 86 percent.
Amazon is currently selling Windows 7 Professional for £148. Those interested will have to wait until the end of the month before they can pre-order the OS which they will then receive on the 22nd of October or later.
Windows Home Premium is also on offer but given the additional features that you get with Windows 7 Professional for no extra outlay, we would wholeheartedly suggest that you buy the latter.
In a statement, Microsoft said that "Students will benefit from many of Windows 7's unique functions and applications which make PCs easier, simpler and more fun to use. For those students who have the latest laptops with touch screen technology, Windows 7 comes with enhanced capabilities for an enriched touch experience".
Note though that the computer will need to be running a genuine copy of Windows Vista or Windows XP. We don't know how Microsoft would feel if you ran a Windows 7 Release Candidate version prior. Now if only Microsoft could resurrect the Ultimate Steal offer...
And unlike other academic schemes, there doesn't seem to be a limit on the number of operating systems you can acquire per households. This means that two teachers with five children going to an education establishment would be entitled to buy seven Windows 7 licenses.