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I think this is a brilliant move. Use up people's time, and give them an activity that benefits both your company and themselves. I see a big oportunity here for startups too!

I think it's brilliant, too, but it seems kind of unscrupulous... kind of a double standard, you know? I'm a working person, so I have to shell out the money, while some schmuck that lost his job can have fun without paying. But I guess that's what you get when you sell "software". You can price it and license it however you want because it costs nothing to copy.

Of course there's a double standard! The ideal for a company is to charge everyone exactly what they'd be willing to pay. Companies usually do this with coupons and such -- if they have one buyer who is going to buy for X no matter what, and another buyer who would only pay .9X, they find a way to give the second one a coupon that the first one will ignore. Universities and used-car dealers are especially good at this.

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The term for this is price discrimination. Once you start looking for it, it's hard to stop: especially in luxury products like wine, jets, and investment banking (millions of dollars for "Why, yes, that is a sensible acquisition!" is clearly a luxury product), the entire game is to find people willing to pay ten times as much for the same goods, and figuring out how to make them pay it.

Well, at least in my country (and I bet in most), unemployed people get a "salary" from the government (according to how much they've worked previously) and they have access to free courses and some benefits to help them while they are looking for their next job. The courses are meant to help them learn or refresh skills they might need for future jobs.

How is this different? :)

It's not the government, it's a company. The government wants to help you get back on your feet, Adobe wants you addicted to their product.

Maybe this is different for me because I think of flash and flex as fun and not a job-related technology.

Well it's an integral part of Adobe AIR and that's a viable job-related technology.

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