How to Buy Windows 7 for Cheap

Have your eye on a Windows 7 upgrade but put off by the price tag?

Good news: an upgrade can be cheaper than you think if you know where to look. Here are 3 ways to get a legal discount on your purchase of this well-reviewed edition of Microsoft’s flagship operating system.

  • Option 1: Get college student pricing

    67% Discount

    Windows 7 Professional Upgrade boxAre you a full-time or part-time university student? If so, you qualify to purchase Windows 7 Professional Upgrade directly from Microsoft for only $65.

    This means that if you’re a college student running Windows XP or Windows Vista on your computer, you can upgrade to Windows 7 Professional (which is a higher-end version than Home Premium) at a 67% discount.

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  • Option 2: Buy the Family Pack

    58% Discount

    Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade Family Pack boxIf you have multiple computers at home that are running Windows XP or Windows Vista, and you’d like to upgrade all of them to Windows 7, then the Windows 7 Family Pack is probably what you’re looking for.

    The Family Pack lets you upgrade 3 computers to Windows 7 Home Premium for only $150 rather than paying the usual upgrade price (which could total up to $360 for three upgrades).

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  • Option 3: Buy the System Builder version

    38-50% Discount

    The options I’ve mentioned so far have been ways of getting a discount on Windows 7 upgrades, which require you to have Windows XP or Windows Vista already installed on your computer. If you’re looking for a full version (non-upgrade version) of Windows 7, the System Builder discs are the cheapest way to get it.

    Windows 7 System Builder discs are discounted copies of the operating system that Microsoft usually sells to companies that build computers, such as your local computer store. The big difference between the System Builder editions and the regular editions is that System Builder discs come without the fancy packaging and without technical support. That is why Microsoft offers these discs for such a low price: once they’ve sold it, they don’t have to provide any customer service by phone or email. (But they will still provide patches and security fixes of course.)

    Microsoft is fine with you buying these discs as long as you don’t come running to them if you have a problem with your computer. If you’re okay with going to someone else for tech support (like your local Best Buy or computer store), then you can save yourself a lot of money by buying these versions of Windows 7.

    Windows 7 Home Premium Windows 7 Professional Windows 7 Ultimate
    $200 $120 $300 $150 $320 $200
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