Microsoft has announced on the Windows Experience blog that it will be giving away a free Xbox 360 gaming console to all students who buy a Windows 7 PC costing over $699; something that coincides with the Playstation Network fiasco that hit Sony earlier this month.
At present the deal is only valid in the US from the 22nd of May until stocks last, and is available for any kind of PC, from laptops, to fully fledged servers (for Computer Science students). The only requirement is that you have a .edu email address, which you will have to use to purchase the new PC from one of the participating retailers enlisted by Microsoft.
Microsoft stipulates that there are no strings attached; you can basically buy the Xbox 360 and give it away to someone else or sell it on Ebay. The Xbox 360 being given away is the entry level 4GB model which can be easily upgraded to the 250GB model for not that much (around £45 in the UK, much less in the US).
The question now is: Why would Microsoft offer free Xbox 360 consoles to students? Could it be that Microsoft is trying to lure PS3 gaming console players that have been hit by Sony's data breach and the subsequent Playstation Network outage? Doling out free gaming consoles to a vital age group might well be Microsoft's strategy to win over the 18-25 year old gamers.