Once Again, Microsoft Offering Free Xbox with Back-to-School PC Purchase (and $14.99 Windows 8 Upgrade)

Microsoft is reprising its buy-a-PC-get-a-free-Xbox-360 deal, just in time for back-to-school shopping. The deal goes something like this: You buy a Windows 7 PC valued at a minimum of $699 and you get a free Xbox 360 (4GB). You can snag the deal at participating retailers, such as Dell, HP, Newegg, Best Buy, and the Microsoft Store.

If console gaming isn’t your thing, you can also opt for a $100 Staples gift card instead of the Xbox 360.

Those who find themselves with a shiny new Windows 7 notebook, ultrabook, or desktop will also be able to take advantage of Microsoft’s $14.99 Windows 8 upgrade offer.

Microsoft free Xbox 360

It’s an expensive but smart move for Microsoft to get hordes of incoming college freshman hooked into the Xbox ecosystem, but we don’t imagine the parents of those bright young students are overly thrilled to send their kids off to school with a tempting gaming system. To be honest, if it was us sending junior to college, we’d keep the Xbox 360 ourselves.

For that matter, we’d probably keep the new ultrabook, too, and give junior our old lappy.