Microsoft Offers Students Free Xbox with 699 PC Purchase

Before everyone in the world gets too excited, the offer is only for students who purchase a $699 computer that Microsoft is bundling with a free Xbox 360. This incentive will work for high school and college students who can verify their student status when they are either in the store or online when they make their purchase. In store, a student ID will do. For online purchases, a student e-mail address with a “.edu” domain name will suffice. (mashable.com)

The participating retailers are Best Buy, the Microsoft Store, Dell.com and HP.com.  Of course the idea of buying computers in May when the school year is coming to a close seems a little strange. But claims are made that May is one of the biggest computer buying months of the year. Another reason may be that tablet devices, such as the iPad 2 from Apple, might be putting such a dent in Microsoft’s PC fortunes. Thus, it makes sense to give some incentive for students to invest their money in a couple of non mobile devices. Microsoft did report weaker sales in the last quarter, and the PC/Xbox bundle might give their PC unit a boost.

According to Microsoft’s Windows Experience Blog titled “Students, We’ve Got You Covered”, the offer applies to any Windows 7 PC priced over $699, which will come with an Xbox 360 console with a 4GB drive.

The offer starts on Sunday, May 22 in the U.S., so students have time to choose their computer from the line of student grade computers, including the HP Pavillion DM4, the Dell Inspiron 14r, and the Samsung Series 9. Or, the students can choose from other computer lines, depending on their needs. The offer will expand to France and Canada “soon”, according to the Microsoft blog.

The emphasis seems to be on students who want to bring their whole digital life experience together in one bundle that offers networking, computing, social networking, internet activity, gaming and entertainment. 

One enticement is stated as “You’ll never lack for opponents with the huge network of gamers playing on PCs and Xbox 360 consoles*, so it’s easy to find friends or players at your level. And it’s easy to stream music, TV and more from your PC directly to your Xbox 360”. 

Finally, with the teaser “You’re not the only one going to college”, Microsoft introduced a YouTube video that shows a high school graduation where the iconic character “Spartan” from the wildly popular “Halo” game series gets his high school diploma.