Apple discontinues boxed software for education buyers in digital push

Posted:
in Mac Software edited January 2014
As part of Apple's strategy to encourage digital software purchases through its Mac App Store, the company has begun informing educational resellers that it will no longer offer most boxed software.



An e-mail recently sent to customers from a major academic institution confirmed that Apple has informed them of the change. That e-mail, obtained by CNet, explains that Apple will no longer offer boxed software except "with limited exception."



It's yet another move toward all-digital distribution of software from Apple, which launched the Mac App Store this January, and has since put its highest profile releases on the digital storefront -- most notably this July's debut of Mac OS X 10.7 Lion.



Upon the release of Lion, Apple initiated a mass continuation of boxed software at its retail stores. Virtually all of the company's retail software was declared "end of life," meaning it would no longer be sold in physical form at stores, including iWork '09, Aperture 3 and iLife '11.



Those same applications are affected by the change for sales to education customers who were notified by Apple this week. The e-mail referred to the note as a "last call" for anyone who wants to buy from the school store.



In particular, customers were told that the store recently received its final shipment of Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, the last operating system by Apple to be distributed on disc. Customers can still get Lion via physical medium on a USB thumb drive, but Apple charges a $40 premium to encourage customers to go digital.







As for the "limited exception," two products do remain available in physical form: Logic Express and Logic Studio. But even that could change in the near future, as Apple is said to be working on Logic Pro X, a new version of its professional digital audio and music sequencing program.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 25
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Apple initiated a mass continuation of boxed software at its retail stores.



    This I like!
  • Reply 2 of 25
    From what I was told yesterday, each organization (edu. or enterprise) that needs to buy Apple software must create one or more App Store accounts to obtain the software via download. You must obtain quotes and make your purchases offline via your Apple representative. They will then supply you with a redemption code to go use in the App Store to download the .pkg file.



    That file can be distributed to all the devices you bought licenses for (by whatever means you like; ARD, Casper Suite, sneakernet. etc.). The software is not serialized but it *is* signed to the account that redeems the code. That means only that account will be notified and be able to download future updates to that package.



    Hope this helps others who do large-scale purchasing and distribution of Apple software.
  • Reply 3 of 25
    Yes! No more boxes! Educational institutions should get used to the whole download license method. Who want's to be in charge of keeping an inventory of all the software for a department? That was a pain when I had to do that in College in our Film/Video Department. Going digital will be beneficial to everyone. Especially where most departments upgrade every year or two, think of all that waste, storage space, inventory cataloging!
  • Reply 4 of 25
    On the one hand, this makes sense and digital distribution is definitely the way to go in the long run.



    However, there are some major caveats with the digital distribution method that really should be addressed before Apple goes this route. First and foremost, it is extremely presumptuous on Apple's part to think that everyone that qualifies for an educational discount has a broadband connection that can reasonably download some of their larger software packages, such as students, faculty, and staff off-campus that are subjected to the same crappy ISPs as evryone else, or none at all.



    I work at a university, receive the educational discount through the university's bookstore, and recently purchased Logic Studio, in the box, precisely because I heard this was coming. I was told they will NOT be receiving anymore physical copies of Logic Studio. Do you know how big Logic Studio is with all of its associated resources? I'll tell you, it's 9 DVDs-worth, or about 54Gb installed. Have fun downloading that from the App Store.



    I can see downloading Logic Pro X (app only) through the App Store, but I guess that means no more Jam Packs, Apple Loops, or other resources.
  • Reply 5 of 25
    I'm fine downloading software, but the issue isn't the download it's the fact that a purchase has to be tied to an iTunes account. If the APP has DRM then you need to also be logged in with that account. This causes serious issues in an Enterprise, much like the iPad does. The institution wants to always retain it's own purchases forever and so we end up managing hundreds of email aliases we use to generate iTunes accounts. It wouldn't be so bad, but there is also no model like the Volume Purchasing Program for the App Store for the Mac App Store and so tax exempt schools get taxed on purchases and then have to go through a process to get their tax back.



    It's a boat load of overhead in a managed environment to say the least. Cart before the horse in regards to the Mac App Store. But I get it...Enterprise is the second class citizen to the bread and butter personal consumers.
  • Reply 6 of 25
    This digital push is retarded. Forcing users to make their own physical copies of software they purchased is just bad customer relations.



    If you don't have the backup, particularly some of these packages that are massive in size, and your drive crashes. If you have a slow internet connection, you may be down for days.



    Simply retarded.
  • Reply 7 of 25
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mike Fix View Post


    Forcing users to make their own physical copies of software they purchased is just bad customer relations.



    Except the idea is that you'll be able to download them for free whenever you want.



    Quote:

    If you have a slow internet connection, you may be down for days.



    Which is being ameliorated little by little every single day.



    Quote:

    Simply retarded.



    Eloquent.
  • Reply 8 of 25
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mike Fix View Post


    If you don't have the backup... Simply retarded.



    Yup. If you don't have a backup, especially of a large download of an important installer, that is indeed simply retarded.



    Gordon
  • Reply 9 of 25
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mike Fix View Post


    If you have a slow internet connection, you may be down for days.



    Simply retarded.



    Why would a school/educational instiution have a slow internet connection?
  • Reply 10 of 25
    jfanningjfanning Posts: 3,390member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by joelsalt View Post


    Why would a school/educational instiution have a slow internet connection?



    Because they live in an area that has poor infrastructure?
  • Reply 11 of 25
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by joelsalt View Post


    Why would a school/educational instiution have a slow internet connection?



    There's a TON of small, out of the way towns in Eastern Oregon that have little to no internet connection. The nearest town of 4,000 population might be an hour and a half away. I imagine other states have the same thing. WA, AZ, NV and UT are just a few. It takes a lot of $$ to string lines up out there, and the satellite stuff is prohibitively expensive in most cases.

    Hell, the town I spent my high school years in didn't have phone lines... rather, it was dependent on good weather and a clear shot to one of the radio towers.

    So, this download-only thing is a bit premature. Personally, I prefer discs.
  • Reply 12 of 25
    Makes sense.



    There's little need for a physical disc and even over a slow connection you only need download the application once and then distribute via your LAN which shouldn't be encumbered by slow speed.



    Discs are just too slow to provide. They cannot be updated quickly and take time to press in large numbers.
  • Reply 13 of 25
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by chuckmoser View Post


    So, this download-only thing is a bit premature. Personally, I prefer discs.



    So do many users but it is more economical, for Apple, and presumably the end user as well, saves printing of packaging and documentation which could be viewed as better ecological responsibility and lastly, isolated rural residents are not Apple's target market. This is not a government funded project. You have to have high speed internet to participate.



    If it becomes a big issue in that rural students are not able to create FCP X training videos of animal husbandry then perhaps the state board of education can download the software from Salem, the state capital, and send it to you by pony express.
  • Reply 14 of 25
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    If it becomes a big issue in that rural students are not able to create FCP X training videos of animal husbandry then perhaps the state board of education can download the software from Salem, the state capital, and send it to you by pony express.



    Well, with that snippet, we've established you're kind of a dick. The point being, if they had the option for the boxed software rather than eliminating it entirely, that would be a good thing since there is a need and not everyone in the country lives within the city limits.
  • Reply 15 of 25
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by chuckmoser View Post


    Well, with that snippet, we've established you're kind of a dick. The point being, if they had the option for the boxed software rather than eliminating it entirely, that would be a good thing since there is a need and not everyone in the country lives within the city limits.



    Relax it is just a joke. I grew up in the same kind of place and I went to UO.
  • Reply 16 of 25
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by chuckmoser View Post


    Well, with that snippet, we've established you're kind of a dick. The point being, if they had the option for the boxed software rather than eliminating it entirely, that would be a good thing since there is a need and not everyone in the country lives within the city limits.



    mstone is nothing what you claim. Please refrain from personal attacks or it's "Time Out" time. We all have our opinions but we don't have to lace them with personal attacks to make a point. Let's keep it civil.
  • Reply 17 of 25
    hmmhmm Posts: 3,405member
    I realize they've been headed this direction for some time. My largest concern here is how long will previous software versions remain available for download? Commercially produced dvds were one of the more reliable methods of maintaining a backup for software installations. This can be a concern for archived projects which require EOL software, older computers which no longer run the current version of something, and software that users do not upgrade with every version. Hard drives and burnable media have a higher chance of corruption or failure here. I think some of you are underestimating the associated aggravation in dealing with multiple software backups. If you're using hard drives you'll want at least two. The boot drive takes a lot of abuse and if you end up reinstalling an OS or doing a clean installation with a new OS, applications need to be reinstalled. To protect against the potential of drive failure or data corruption on the drive containing reserve copies of your software, you need a backup of that. In other words at least two drives are now basically dedicated at least partially to software backups. The dvds you obtain from Apple actually last a very long time (around 20 years in theory) if they aren't scratched, and lack some of the other issues present with hard drive backup. Anyway yeah I'd like to know how long they maintain legacy versions/software.
  • Reply 18 of 25
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    Relax it is just a joke. I grew up in the same kind of place and I went to UO.



    Alright, alright. My apologies. Thought you were being smug... seemed warranted at the time.
  • Reply 19 of 25
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by chuckmoser View Post


    There's a TON of small, out of the way towns in Eastern Oregon that have little to no internet connection. The nearest town of 4,000 population might be an hour and a half away. I imagine other states have the same thing. WA, AZ, NV and UT are just a few. It takes a lot of $$ to string lines up out there, and the satellite stuff is prohibitively expensive in most cases.

    Hell, the town I spent my high school years in didn't have phone lines... rather, it was dependent on good weather and a clear shot to one of the radio towers.

    So, this download-only thing is a bit premature. Personally, I prefer discs.



    When I picture a middle of nowhere town I picture a beige desktop not a shiny new Mac.
  • Reply 20 of 25
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmm View Post


    I realize they've been headed this direction for some time. My largest concern here is how long will previous software versions remain available for download? Commercially produced dvds were one of the more reliable methods of maintaining a backup for software installations. This can be a concern for archived projects which require EOL software, older computers which no longer run the current version of something, and software that users do not upgrade with every version. Hard drives and burnable media have a higher chance of corruption or failure here. I think some of you are underestimating the associated aggravation in dealing with multiple software backups. If you're using hard drives you'll want at least two. The boot drive takes a lot of abuse and if you end up reinstalling an OS or doing a clean installation with a new OS, applications need to be reinstalled. To protect against the potential of drive failure or data corruption on the drive containing reserve copies of your software, you need a backup of that. In other words at least two drives are now basically dedicated at least partially to software backups. The dvds you obtain from Apple actually last a very long time (around 20 years in theory) if they aren't scratched, and lack some of the other issues present with hard drive backup. Anyway yeah I'd like to know how long they maintain legacy versions/software.



    I've got shelves full of legacy versions. I don't need any of them because even on a fixed budget, I upgrade my software. I know that's just me, but I think you are probably one of those persons that still have MacWorld Magazines from the 90s. Somebody has to shove those hoarders into the 21st century. It might as well be Apple.
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