Cybernet News has discovered a way for students to get Windows 7 Professional really, really dirt cheap. While consumers will be required to shell out up to $299.99 for a retail copy of the Professional version next month, students will only need to fork over a whopping $19. The catch is that high school and undergraduate students must prove a focus in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics in order to get the discount "cheat" to work.
The "cheat" in question actually applies to students who are not already enrolled in the MSDN Academic Alliance, a program for universities that grant access to "hundreds" of Microsoft products free of charge. Apparently, students can join the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) for the $19 pricetag instead. The ACM thus provides the entire MSDN-AA catalog, including both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 7 Professional in four languages. Ultimately, students will receive eight individual keys that work on all eight versions (32-bit and 64-bit for each language).
"This offer is technically for students taking STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) classes," reads this blog on Overclock.net. "They do not verify your information as of yet, but I cannot encourage you to lie in order to get access."
Windows 7 RTM was already introduced to students registered on Microsoft's MSDN-AA back on August 6th, 2009 when the company offered the OS to all MSDN and TechNet subscribers. However, according to the Overclock blog, students are experiencing problems downloading Windows 7 via MSDN-AA and ACM.
UPDATE: Recently I've received a few emails stating that the MDAA package for students no longer offers any version of Windows 7. "Please note: The Microsoft Developer Academic Alliance package offered to Student Members DOES NOT CONTAIN ANY VERSION OF Windows 7," says the company.