Windows 7 is Cheap in Pakistan

Windows 7 only costs Rs. 3500 for the Starter edition here in Pakistan. And that is only if you aren’t eligible for one of the many programs where you can get it for FREE. Yes you can get it for Free and that too legally.

If you are a student at a good educational institute, you will be eligible for a FREE license to Windows 7 Professional or Ultimate. That’s how I get it. But note that I said good, not major institute. The difference is that good institutions cover all the needs of their students, like my university provides us free licensed software.

If you’re not in such an institution, then you may still be eligible for the student discount which is only $30 for Windows 7 Ultimate. That is only Rs. 2500. Or you can still get it for free by participating in Microsoft’s DreamSpark, BizSpark or WebSpark programs.

Still not getting anything? then how about getting a membership with IEEE or ACM, which also entitle you to 5 licensed copies of Windows and tons of other software for free. But perhaps the best possible way to get Windows 7 is buy a computer with the OS pre-installed.

Oh and if you want to go the extra mile, here is the price list of Genuine Windows 7 in Pakistan compared to International prices.

Clearly Microsoft offers Windows at much lower rates compared to rest of the world. And when you think about it, you’ll be using Windows 7 for at least the next 3 years, so Windows 7 Professional would be costing you about Rs. 334 per month. That is pretty cheap if you ask me.

Where to Buy Original Windows in Pakistan?

Following is the list of Microsoft Distributors, if you want to buy anything in Pakistan…

Maison Consulting & Solutions
505, Business Avenue,

Mantaq Systems
Suite # 407, Siddiq Trade Center,
72-Main Gulberg Lahore, 54660

Ovex Technologies,
9th Floor, MM Tower,
28/A Block K,
Gulberg 11,

KalSoft (Pvt) Ltd,
31-D Khayaban-e-Sehar,
DHA Phase – 4

Itim Systems (Private) Limited
Suite# 501-504, Progressive Center,
Main Shahra-e-Faisal, Block 4, PECHS,

DWP Technologies, Pvt, Ltd,
12-c Main Boulevard, Block K,
Gulberg II,

Infotech (Pvt) Limited
4-c,21 Commercial Street, Phase 2 Extension,

LMK Resources
Center One, No. 4, Street 5,
Sector F 7/3,

TechAccess Pakistan Pvt Ltd,
3rd Floor, Nacom House, 270/1,
MD Wafai Street,
Starchen Road,

Jaffer Business Systems,
Citi Tower, 33-A,
Block – 6, PECHS,
Shahrah-e-Faisal, 75400

Gerry’s Softlogic Pvt Ltd,
1 & 2 Lotia Building,
Abdullah Haroon Road,

Premier Systems Pvt Ltd,
2nd Floor, Business Plaza,
Mumtaz Hassan Road,

Micro-Inn Pvt Ltd,
WH-28, 6th Floor, Techno City Mall,
Hasrat Mohani Road,

Computer Supermarket

Corvit Networks,
Suite 114, Ceasars Towers,

Inbox Business Technologies,
5th Floor, Dawood Center,
M.T. Khan Road,

International Office Products,
3rd Floor Uni-Center,
I.I. Chundrigar Road,

Mushko Electronics Pvt Ltd
Phase 4, DHA

Occean Office Automation,

MegaPlus Pakistan
E-246, PECHS Block-6,

Selling Business Systems,

Expert System Pvt Limited

Softworld International
305, Landmark Plaza,
Muhammad Bin Qasim Road,
Off. I.I.Chundrigar Road,

Emircom Pvt Limited
0322-517 0322

Techsense Pvt Ltd
Suite 2/1, World Business Center,
Plot 147, 18th East Street, Phase 1,

GeoPaq a Mondo Company

TPS Pakistan
TPS Tower, A-43,
Central Commercial Area,
Block 7/8, KCHS

Systems Limited
E-5, Central Commercial Area,
Shaheed-e-Millat Road,

Cogilent Solutions

Ideal Systems,
Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi

Acer Computers

Finosys Pvt Ltd
103,Landmark Plaza,
Opp. Jang Press,
I.I.Chundrigar Road,

Sysnet Pakistan Pvt Ltd,
79-B, Tipu Sulstan Roadm

CTTC Pvt Ltd,
45-M, Block 6, PECHS,

New Horizons Pakistan

Expert Academy
P 421-422,
8th Floor, Mega Tower,
Main Boulevard,

Upgrade offers Worldwide

Up to 55% off: Windows Anytime Upgrade

Expires: Never

Who’s eligible: Anyone running Windows 7 Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, or Professional

If you custom-build a new PC, you can choose the exact Windows 7 edition you want on it. OEMs get the best pricing, so this is usually your best option. But if you purchase a preconfigured PC from an online or local retailer, you get whatever edition of Windows they chose to install on it, typically Windows 7 Home Premium for consumer PCs. Outside of the U.S., Western Europe, and other developed markets, you might get Home Basic, and on a netbook you can get the wimpy Starter edition.

Purchasing a full retail upgrade is one option, but the Anytime Upgrade option can be much cheaper. For instance, a retail upgrade of Windows 7 Professional costs $199.99. If you have a PC with Windows 7 Home Premium already installed on it, you can buy the Anytime Upgrade option for $89.95 direct from Microsoft. Likewise, you can go from Windows 7 Home Premium to Ultimate for $139.95, which is a considerable savings over the $219.99 retail upgrade price for Ultimate. (The full price list is here at the Microsoft Store.) Online retailers like offer the same deal for a discount of a few bucks, although you have to wait for a physical box to be shipped.

Up to 58% Off: Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade Family Pack

Expires: “Limited time offer” with no specific expiration date [Update: as of December 4, 2009, the Family Pack appears to be sold out in the United States]

Who’s eligible: Any multi-PC household (international)

If you have two or more PCs in your home and you want to upgrade them to Windows 7, this deal is for you. This package is only available in a physical box and (according to Microsoft) only for a limited time. It includes two DVDs: one copy each of the 32-bit and 64-bit Windows 7 Home Premium upgrade installation media. You get a single product key that can be activated on up to three different PCs.

Up to 85% off: The Windows 7 Academic Offer

Expires: January 3, 2010

Who’s eligible: College/university students (international)

If you are a an eligible university student who attends an educational institution in the United States, you can purchase an upgrade edition of Windows 7 Home Premium or Windows 7 Professional for $29.99. (That’s a huge savings from the regular price of $119.99 or $199.99, respectively.) You must be “actively enrolled in at least 0.5 course credit.” Full terms for the U.S. offer are here. Any college or university that gives you a .edu address qualifies, as do the eligible institutions on this list. If you don’t have a qualifying e-mail address, you can still apply by following these instructions. To apply in the United States, start here.

Limitations? The deal is one copy per student. Digital download is fulfilled through Digital River, or you can pay $13 extra for a physical disk. The offer is non-transferable, but the terms are curiously vague about whether you can sell or give away the software itself. This is not an academic or otherwise restricted license; it is the same upgrade package available via retail outlets.

Free: MSDN Academic Alliance

Expires: No expiration date

Who’s eligible: College/university students in technical departments (international)

If you are enrolled in a science, technology, engineering, or math department at an educational institution that belongs to the MSDN Academic Alliance, you can get free software for use in your studies. (There are also similar offers for students in visual, illustration, design, and art departments.) The program also extends to members of IEEE and ACM. The list of available titles originally included Windows 7 Professional, but when word spread of this benefit, both organizations suddenly had a flood of new membership requests, virtually all of them from non-students looking for a freebie. That inspired this announcement from Microsoft’s Academic Care blog.

So, here’s the bottom line: If you want to join IEEE or ACM, you won’t get a free copy of Windows 7. But if you’re a student in a technical or design course of studies, you might qualify and you should aggressively pursue your right to this benefit. You can find out whether your school is eligible by searching here. If you’re an English or Political Science major or a non-student, you should look elsewhere.