As the school year winds to a close and many students prepare for college or graduate school, bringing a laptop to college has become more important than ever. While Apple has traditionally given away free iPod touches to students who buy a Mac in the summer, there was never any kind of a similar promotion if you’re a Windows user. This year, however, Microsoft isn’t laying down and taking it, as they are offering a similar promotion: A free Xbox 360 if you buy a Windows PC over $700. The deal starts today, May 22, so if you are thinking of buying a Windows laptop for school here’s how to get that free Xbox.

1. If you have an .EDU email address, order online

If you want to get this deal online, head over to the Microsoft Store Online,, or and shop for the computer you want. Any PC on those sits over $700 qualifies, laptop or desktop, including awesome high-end stuff like the Samsung Series 9 or something more modest like this Acer Aspire. Make sure to use your .EDU email address and you’ll qualify for the promotion — it will let you know while you’re checking out. Not every .EDU address works, addresses marked as alumni and others that aren’t associated with a real university won’t qualify.

2. Bring your student ID or fall class schedule and other ID into a Best Buy or Microsoft Store

If you’re going to be a freshman and don’t have your .EDU email address yet, you can also bring your student ID or a printout of your university class schedule and other form of ID into a retail Best Buy or Microsoft location to get the deal. Just let them know that you’re here for the free Xbox 360 and show them your stuff, and they will point you to the qualifying laptops. Pretty easy.

While a Windows 7 PC is perfect for staying connected to your social networks, surfing the web, gaming and streaming videos, music and more, when you add the power of Xbox 360, you’ve got a world of entertainment at your fingertips. You’ll never lack for opponents with the huge network of gamers playing on PCs and Xbox 360 consoles**, so it’s easy to find friends or players at your level. And it’s easy to stream music, TV and more from your PC directly to your Xbox 360.

According to Microsoft, the deal starts today and goes “until 9/3 or while supplies last,” so if you want to be certain you’ll get that Xbox, make sure to order soon. And if you’re not interested in an Xbox, consider that a new Xbox will sell for around $200, so your $700 computer just became $500.