For the last seven years, I've worked for state universities and national research institutions. My jobs have had their pros and cons - every job does, after all. One definite benefit has been academic pricing on software. $199 for Photoshop or InDesign (academic price) is certainly a lot better than the list price of $699 each. And $399 for the Creative Suite that contains both plus Acrobat Pro and some other goodies isn't half bad, either.That said, it's hard to beat free.
One of the universities I'm affiliated with recently figured out that when you have 35,000 students and several thousand faculty and staff, a lot of those people are going to need something or other from the Creative Suite. And if you're a software company, anybody that comes to you wanting 40,000 or so licenses is likely to get your attention.
So I just downloaded Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 Master Collection, and got a license key... for free. Compare to the retail list price of $2,599.
Of course, out of the dozen or so things the Master Collection includes, I still only want Photoshop, InDesign and Acrobat Pro, but oh well. It'll be interesting to see whether other universities do similar things. And since this site-license was part of a plan by the university to make sure that everyone had access to software they were likely to need, I'm hoping Microsoft Office 2011 will come my way, too. :)