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The Great Microsoft Educational Software Scam [Aug. 27th, 2003|05:09 pm]
Okrzyki, przyjaciel!
With my spanking new University ID I went to the bookstore and bought: Windows XP Professional, Office XP, Visual Studio .NET, and Front Page 2002, for a grand total of $29.56.

This is a result of the U of I's site licensing deal with Microsoft. All you get is media and a serial number, all the docs are on CD. But they're real licenses, so long as I work for the U of I.

Here's what bugs me: Big corporate customers negotiate company-wide licenses for Microsoft stuff, just as government and educational institutions do. The only people who don't get a substantial discount on Microsoft Software are individual users and small businesses. Sure, a lot of people get stuff 'free' with their computer, but still, there's no real concept of a 'fair' price. You can pay $300, or you can pay 5.95, depending on who you are. It's almost as bad as buying a car: there's no real link between what you get and what you pay for it.

[User Picture]From: bitterwhiteguy
2003-08-27 06:44 pm (UTC)
True, but when you're a student it kicks much ass. I was at UT when they first got the same type of agreement, getting Win98 for $5 was a deal. I think it's better for all involved, at least compared to a bunch of people using illegal copies.
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[User Picture]From: jawngee
2003-08-27 06:49 pm (UTC)
Except that you can only use those pieces of software for work specific to what you are doing at the U of I.

For example, academic pricing disallows you from creating anything that you can turn into a commercial thing.

Institutional, corporate licensing binds you to creating only for the corporation on the behalf of whom you purchased said software. You couldn't write a killer music app with the license and publish it on your own. (Not that anyone would know really).

Most freelancers I know, myself included, pad the pricing of our projects to account for the software we require to accomplish the job, regardless if we already own it or not.

For instance, I pad each project of mine by $2K for an MSDN Universal Subscription. If I'm using libraries that I've licensed previously, I incorporate those costs in as well.
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[User Picture]From: jawngee
2003-08-28 12:27 am (UTC)
Also, welcome to .NET ;)
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