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Students to get Windows 8 upgrade discount

Fear not, starving students who want to upgrade to Windows 8. Microsoft has a plan to let you upgrade your older Windows systems for much less than the standard upgrade price.

The Windows 8 Start screen.
Seth Rosenblatt/CNET

As Microsoft's ridiculously low price for upgrading older Windows systems to Windows 8 comes to a close tomorrow, the company has revealed a plan to let students upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for less than half the standard rate.

Microsoft's been running a deal since the Windows 8 launch in October where people who wanted to upgrade Windows XP, Vista, or Windows 7 to Windows 8 could pay only $39.99, but that deal will end tomorrow. As of February 1, upgrading an older Windows computer to Windows 8 will run you $119.99 for the standard edition, or $199.99 for Windows 8 Pro.

Students, however, get a reprieve from the full cost of upgrading. If you've got a valid .edu email account through a qualifying educational institution, you can upgrade from one of the aforementioned systems to Windows 8 Pro for $69.99 starting February 1 if you live in the United States -- a discount of 65 percent.

Non-U.S. residents of 49 countries will receive the discount offer as well, but on a rolling basis. Most English-speaking countries, including Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand, and Western Europe will get access to the discount on February 21. Eastern Europe and some Asian countries will follow on March 7, with the Middle East and others on March 19.

Updated 1:33 p.m. PDT on January 30, 2013, to clarify that the student discount is for Windows 8 Pro.