Luckily there is an alternative … Student Discount.
First off, this deal is better for those living in Europe than for you over there in the US. But no matter where you live, you may get a discount offer. What differs between the US and Europe are the Terms.
Student Discount, eh?
Yes, I’m not making this up. Microsoft want to capture their users at a very early stage. Preferably by the time you leave the womb. Realizing that this is a bit tricky, they turn their attention to students.
Now this is where the terms differ, depending on where you live.
In the US, a Student is someone who actually studies. And you need to prove this, by having a legit student email (or have some credential.)
In Europe (Northern Europe at least) a student credential isn’t necessary. Over here, anyone with some link to an educational facility (pre-SCHOOL, Kindergarten, 1st grade etc.) may buy a license of Microsoft Software. Hey, your kid does attend school, right? Or maybe your sister does? Or maybe you know someone that does…
The best part is – it’s totally legit.
This isn’t always limited to Microsoft software either, Adobe and other software manufacturers offer the same deal. The limit is usually one license per “student”.
[Update] This is a quote from a Microsoft approved web-shop: “Discount software for sale, available to students and family members in United Kingdom. No student card, student e-mail address or student id required for Microsoft products. Just login, pick your cheap software and checkout!”
Where to find
There are different stores, depending on where you live. But most stores carrying the software also know about the student discount offer. There are also several online stores offering the same. I haven’t been able to find an online store that allows you to download the software after paying for it. But sites like www.software4students.co.uk (Offering UK citizens, Windows 7 Pro and Office 2010 at £39) offer door to door delivery.
Up until recently you could download Windows 7, by registering at ACM.org for $19, but seeing as too many registered as “non-legit” students, the offer has been removed. They have, however, other Microsoft licenses for download, at the same yearly fee of $19.
If you know about online stores that offer these kind of rebates, don’t hesitate to leave it in the comments.
Ed note: I’d just like to add that you really should have a student in your household before making your purchase of a student license.