Microsoft has always offered pretty good deals on their software for students as a way for them to encourage the use of their products, which the students will hopefully carry over into their jobs. That’s why a lot of universities have MSDN Academic Alliance (MSDNAA) subscriptions for students, and that provides access to hundreds of Microsoft products free of charge. That includes Windows 7.

One of my friends told me about a pretty cool trick if you’re a student that doesn’t already have access to MSDNAA. You can join the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) for a mere $19, and as part of the membership you get access to the full MSDNAA catalog. In that catalog are both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 7 in English, French, Chinese, and Spanish. Each version and language is accompanied by a unique product key that works with any version and language of Windows 7 Professional (ex. a 32-bit French product key can be used on a 64-bit English install). In all that means you get a total of 8 product keys.

So who qualifies for the student membership? Any high-school or undergraduate student according to their form. The organization does focus on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields though. For high-school students especially it would be tough to prove which “field” your focus is on since the curriculum is mostly general studies, but they may want to see related classes on your schedule.

I wasn’t able to try out the deal since I’m not a student anymore, but I was curious as to what kind of verification they perform when applying for a membership. I did some searching around and found this post over at where a lot of people have apparently been getting in on the deal. I guess ACM is requesting information from people to prove that you are a student, and that the process can take a week or two before you actually have access to the software. Getting eight Windows 7 Professional license keys for a mere $19 might be worth the hassle though.

If you do decide to give this a whirl let us know what your experience is like.

Sign-up at the Association for Computing Machinery

UPDATE: As several commenters have pointed out… it looks like this is no longer available. If you sign-up now there’s a very good chance you’ll never get access to MSDNAA. So don’t spend the money if that’s your only reasoning.

There Are 21 Comments

  1. This is for US only or world wide?

  2. Blaszta – they have a box for “country” on the form so I’d assume it’s worldwide, though I’m going to look through the T’s and C’s.

    One point to note, though, is that the $19 fee is only available to high school and undergraduate students. I’m a postgrad so fall into the next category up at $42. Still cheap for 8 Win7 licenses though!

  3. I am from Romania and already downloaded Windows 7 through MSDNAA (and other MS software too). IT students might get it for free, depending on the presence of a ‘Microsoft Student Partner’ i think it’s called, in your uni/faculty.

  4. Starting Monday, I’m officially an IT student so I’m eligible. Unfortunately, there is no Dutch version.

  5. Useless now. ACM removed all the Windows 7 downloads from MSDNAA yesterday. I have the ACM-MSDNAA membership and i can assure this.

  6. According to


    it states:

    Please note: The Microsoft Developer Academic Alliance package offered to Student Members contains the Windows 7 Beta version.

    So are the keys only for the beta versions and not for the RTM versions?

    • You wont get anything related to Windows 7 at the moment. They removed Windows 7 from the List, even the beta. I got my membership in August. I had my keys and when i checked the list today, all the Windows 7 downloads are gone except for which i have downloaded.

  7. Lol, on the student page ([])it states that

    “Free access to software and courseware through the ACM Student Academic Initiative (Please note: The Developer AA package contains the Windows 7 Beta Version.)”

  8. MSDNAA does have the Professional version of 7 and it’s Not beta. they hold the 32 bit and 64 bit Windows 7 Professional in their catalog. This may be different for the catalog they offer ACM.
    Sept 17th at 851 am CST. This is what the catalog shows as the description…

    Windows 7 Professional (x86) – DVD (English)
    Product Description
    Close Window

    Windows 7 Professional Features:

    Make the things you do every day easier with improved desktop navigation.
    Start programs faster and more easily, and quickly find the documents you use most often.
    Make your web experience faster, easier and safer than ever with Internet Explorer 8.
    Watch, pause, rewind, and record TV on your PC.
    Easily create a home network and connect your PCs to a printer with HomeGroup.
    Run many Windows XP productivity programs in Windows XP Mode.
    Connect to company networks easily and more securely with Domain Join.
    In addition to full-system Backup and Restore found in all editions, you can back up to a home or business network.
    Windows 7 system requirements

    If you want to run Windows 7 on your PC, here’s what it takes:

    1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
    1 gigabyte (GB) RAM (32-bit) or 2 GB RAM (64-bit)
    16 GB available hard disk space (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
    DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver
    Additional requirements to use certain features:

    Internet access (fees may apply)
    Depending on resolution, video playback may require additional memory and advanced graphics hardware
    For some Windows Media Center functionality a TV tuner and additional hardware may be required
    Windows Touch and Tablet PCs require specific hardware
    HomeGroup requires a network and PCs running Windows 7
    DVD/CD authoring requires a compatible optical drive
    BitLocker requires Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 1.2
    BitLocker To Go requires a USB flash drive
    Windows XP Mode requires an additional 1 GB of RAM, an additional 15 GB of available hard disk space, and a processor capable of hardware virtualization with Intel VT or AMD-V turned on
    Music and sound require audio output
    Product functionality and graphics may vary based on your system configuration. Some features may require advanced or additional hardware.

    See how Windows 7, the next version of Windows, makes your PC simpler and easier to use every day: []

    • This is no longer possible, as of yesterday. Emails such as this one were sent to all students who had taken advantage of the offer:

      Dear Students,

      Due to a large influx of NON-computing (IT) students joining ACM just to get a copy of Windows 7 Final Release, it had to be taken out of the Microsoft Developer Academic Alliance package offered to ACM Student Members. Windows 7 Beta remains among a LOT of other software.

      The Developer Academic Alliance is supposed to be JUST FOR COMPUTING-TYPE STUDENTS. Microsoft offers another package, Dream Spark, for those non-computing students.

      I encourage you to check out ACM Student Membership for “real” since we really do offer a great bargain — free e-mentoring, free software from other companies, the digital edition to Communications of the ACM, Crossroads Magazine, etc., etc.

      Have a look: [[]]

      Lillian Israel
      ACM Director of Membership

    • Yup Danielle, MSDNAA does have it, But ACM removed it from the list due to high signups of NON IT students. Believe me, I too am a Student.

    • Caleyda, it is true. MSDMAA has both 86 and 64 windows 7 pros. They DID have ultimate and luckily I snagged it before they took it down. This is talking about CACM.

  9. I joined and logged in, but can’t find the MSDNAA catalog anywhere.

  10. So this isn’t like a temporary thing, right? Win7 isn’t just like a promotional thing on the MSNDAA, right. I’m asking because I’m thinking of waiting to sign up till I have time to go thru installation (and other drives for backup & reformatting).

    • Well, it looks like they’ve pulled the sign-ups for the time being, but no, it wasn’t supposed to be a temporary thing. In fact I believe a membership with this organization is good for a lifetime, which means you’d always get new software as it got added. Although I’m not sure if they try to keep track of when you’re no longer a student.

  11. Wow, looks like I shoulda read the prior comments. But, on the bright side, I figured out I’m entitled to a 100% free copy of Windows 7 Pro! I’m holding off on installation for now, because I figure the best course of attack would be to backup, reformat & clean install, and move my stuff back; so I’m waiting till I’ll have some external storage available for backup. Until then, I’ve got a 100% legit iso for Win7 Pro 64bit.

    The good news, I bet many readers here can get to it as well. The catch, you must be a student(nothing new there) and your school has to be part of the MSDNAA. Now, when I first read about this I figured my school probably wouldn’t have this, because their download site lists only MS office and Symantec Antivirus. Yet, when you lookup the school at Microsoft’s school site list (the link below), given that your school is listed (thankfully mine was), the link will take you to a MSDNAA downloads page specific to your school. Look for Windows 7 pro in the drop down (it looks like it has a Win7 “language pack” as well so you may even be able to take advantage of that for 8 Win7 licenses as described in this article). If it’s not listed, check if your school is listed twice on the school listings page (mine was listed twice, one link had it, the other didn’t). It asks for an ID and password -try your school .edu email and pass, and if that doesn’t work hit forgot password and they’ll email you a password to your school email. Then add to cart and download and you’re home free w/ Win7 Pro (retail $199.99) at no cost.


  12. Is it possible to view the catalog to see what is available before joining?


  13. Thank you for your interest in joining as an ACM Student Member at our special rate of $19.

    Before we continue, we’d like to make sure that you are joining for all the right reasons.

    Let us be clear:

    ACM Membership DOES NOT include Windows 7.

    Recently, a large number of individuals looking to get Windows 7 through an ACM Student Member benefit joined ACM only to find out that ACM membership is not for them.

    Continue and join as an ACM Student Member at the special price of $19. If you genuinely want to join ACM as a Student Member, please continue – we’re happy to have you!
    Join as an ACM Student Member at the special price of $19.

    Don’t join ACM. You will not be charged anything, and ACM will cancel your request. If you were just looking for Windows 7 please stop now– click here to cancel your request.
    Don’t join ACM. You will not be charged anything, and ACM will cancel your request.

Leave Your Comment

Message is the only required field.
Emails are not published.