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Buying software has almost always included a physical component, from tape to diskette to CD to DVD.
Not so any more. If major players like Apple, Microsoft, and Adobe are any indication, then software distribution and ownership is about to become much more virtual.
It’s still unclear how these moves will affect OHIO students and employees in the long run. Here is what we know right now:
Apple already is cloud-based. If you want the latest version of OS X* or Final Cut, you’ll have to download it from iTunes or the App Store. Adobe and Microsoft are moving toward distributing their software online, too, with Creative Cloud and Office 365 respectively. (*Departments still can purchase OS X on disc from the Tech Depot through our volume licensing option.)
For students, Microsoft is switching to a download-based cloud service called Office 365 University. To access the service, students will buy a license key from the Tech Depot. The current price is $76 for Office 2013 for Windows and Office 2011 for Mac. The Tech Depot also has a few DVD versions of Office 2010 left in stock, discounted to $55.
For departments, Office will be available via remote network install (SCCM), with a disk-based option for computers that are not centrally managed or that cannot run SCCM.
Adobe is moving to the subscription-based Creative Cloud service instead of selling boxed copies.
The Tech Depot still has a few boxed Adobe products available for students to purchase. Once that inventory is gone, students who do not already own a boxed, perpetually licensed copy will have to go with a Creative Cloud subscription.
Boxed, perpetually licensed versions will remain available to departments until our Adobe agreement expires in October 2013. The university still is evaluating whether to go with a Creative Cloud site license or a per-seat subscription model.
OIT and the Tech Depot will keep an eye on cloud trends and will work to offer appropriate distribution methods to faculty, staff, and students.
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