Students in engineering and computer-related fields can already get Microsoft software for free through the MSDNAA program. For the next few months, those following other courses will also get a break. Neowin reports that Microsoft has started offering Windows 7 for only $29.99 to eligible college students in the United States. Folks studying in some other countries should get similar deals, too.
According to the 741 promotion site, the U.S. offer will run until January 3, 2010 at midnight CST. The deal covers both Home Premium and Professional editions of the new operating system, which will both be available as downloads for the same fee—$29.99. Presumably, though, Microsoft won't start distributing the software until Windows 7's October 22 launch date.
All students need to do to participate is visit this page and enter a valid college e-mail address. Microsoft says eligible students will receive an e-mail with "purchase details" and a link to a checkout page, which they can then follow to buy their license key and download the OS (in 32-bit or 64-bit variants). Students will also be able to purchase a backup DVD, although Microsoft doesn't mention a price for that.
As always, students taking classes in MSDNAA-participating departments can still get free copies of Windows and other Microsoft applications. More information about that offer is available here.