In an effort to keep the kids from going with all Apple everything, Microsoft has teamed up with a number of vendors to offer a new “Buy a PC, Get An Xbox” plan along with a $15 upgrade to Windows 8 when it lands later this year. Non-gamers get a $100 Staples gift card, which sounds like cold comfort.
Student buyers who spend $699 on a PC will get the Xbox and the upgrade if they supply a student ID. Given that many PC shoppers are holding off until Windows 8 is official, this seems like a good move. Grabbing an Xbox and an inexpensive upgrade ensures that the laptops now mouldering in inventory are sold while Microsoft gains another revenue stream thanks to game purchases and Xbox Live subscriptions. Buyers, in turn, get some state of the art hardware that’s Win8 ready when it’s time to move over.
Given that folks may find Windows 8 a cognitive burden and that first-gen versions of Windows OSes usually end up pretty rough, it’s probably a good move to stick with Win7 for at least a few more months after launch to see how the UX and bugs shakes out. However it seems like a great opportunity for an early adopting student to pick up a nice laptop at a fairly nice price and waste a bit of time on Skyrim between, during, and after class.