Windows expert Ed Bott offers up an excellent guide to getting Windows 7 on the cheap, along with some great advice. It's a must-read:

Only suckers pay retail.

If you’ve read any reviews of Windows 7, you’ve seen references to its price list, which ranges from $120 for a Home Premium upgrade to $320 for a fully licensed copy of Windows 7 Ultimate.

Well, guess what? You don’t have to pay that much. Most people have much better options available, if you know where to look. As I’ve detailed here, the best deals go to PC manufacturers, which you benefit from if you buy a new PC.

But there are plenty of other discounts available as well. In this post, I’ve researched deals in three separate categories: upgrade offers available to anyone, special deals just for students, and subscriptions intended for technical professionals and developers.

My goal in this post is to point you to deals that customers legitimately qualify for. I am not trying to encourage attempts by anyone to get away with something you’re not entitled to. If there are restrictions for a specific offer, I’ve noted them here.

Go forth and save.