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It also increases Adobe's bottom-line because poor university students learn to use the tool by downloading the pirated version while they are in school (the 'edu' version of Photoshop was still $300 last I checked), then they pay for the full version once they are actually using it for business.

Actually, Adobe's edu prices are actually very reasonable. Looking at my colleges sales site (well, SUNY system's), the minimum edu discount given is upwards of $1000, and usually closer to $1300. CS5 {Design, Production, Web} Premium are all $385, Design Standard is $220.

I could definitely afford $225, let alone $385, if needed. As could most others that I know (even if they would complain about the price).

The software company that I havent found this to be the case for is Quark, with XPress. And thats when selling to colleges directly, not to students. Its still $600-$700 off for students to purchase on their own (totaling ~$200). And SUNY has an even better discount, bringing the cost down to $100.

For comparison as an engineering student I spent 100 dollars for matlab, something I end up using all the time for class, for a convenience factor as I don't really pirate anything but if I were a design student I really wouldn't want to fork over 300 dollars for a program I can't use commercially (and as a student 300 dollars really isn't something easily within my budget).

Other examples from engineering/architecture/math: Pro/ENGINEER and Mathcad are only ~100 dollars for students, mathematica comes close to 100 and Autodesk gives software to students for free.

Whats your point? Or rather: How does your point differ from my point?

You're not getting one program for $385; you're getting multiple programs in one suite. 5-6 programs at $385 or 3-4 programs at $220. For example, Adobe CS Design Standard suite ($220) comes with 3-4 fairly big programs; Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and Acrobat. Four big programs - two of which (Photoshop, Illustrator) you're near guaranteed to use at some point if you're doing digital art. Comes out to less than $100/program.

I only focused on Adobe and other creative programs because that is what the OP I was responding to mentioned. My point would still stand if I used engineering/math programs instead of art/design programs.

My only real point was that 300 dollars wasn't ever really in my budget but I go to college on scholarships and other such things so I'm probably different than many.

The engineering tools, especially what you get with many of the student editions are equivalent to programs sold for well over 3x and more than the price of commercial design suites but something that many of the engineering businesses have come to understand is that having students use their products gives them an advantage for when companies choose products. As well as the price difference between engineering software and design software many of the student editions come with large amounts of expensive add-ons for free and this is more than equivalent to a design suite.

The thing about photoshop and the other design items is that they are the de facto standard so instead of treating students as students they instead choose to lower to a still high price and expect students to buy rather than pirate.

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