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As Adobe customers howl, Corel offers education discount

CorelDraw, VideoStudio, and PaintShop Pro are available at a deep discount for schools. Honest, it's a coincidence the program arrived as customers fume over Adobe's move to subscriptions.


As Adobe Systems tries to ride out a storm of customer criticism over its move to subscription-only pricing, rival Corel is swooping in with a new discounted pricing plan for customers at schools and universities.

The company said the revised education discount plan was already in planning before Adobe changed its sales approach. But the company clearly is trying to capitalize on its rival's woes: last week, it announced Corel software discounts of up to 60 percent for Adobe customers making the switch.

The education discount covers all Corel's graphics-related software, including the CorelDraw Graphics Suite, PaintShop Pro, VideoStudio, AfterShot Pro, MotionStudio, and CorelCAD.

Educational discounts are common as companies seek a foothold in the up-and-coming generation of computer users.

The CorelDraw Graphics Suite costs $479 regularly, but education customers can buy a single license for $89, according to the company's Web site. Now, though, Corel also offers streamlined licensing and deeper discounts for those buying software for large numbers of users -- as much as 96 percent off the retail price. Also new is a program that lets students and faculty buy personal copies of most of the software for $10 per title.

Here are two examples of the education pricing. For 250 people, the cost is $5,250, with $1,750 per year after the first year for maintenance -- fees that cover updates and the personal copies. For 1,000 people, the price is $7,100, with maintenance fees after the first year of $2,350, Corel said.

The move comes after Adobe announced earlier this month that it will offer new versions of its software for creative professionals only through subscriptions, chiefly a $50-per-month Creative Cloud plan for its full suite of software and $20-per-month subscription for any single package. Adobe offers an education discount of $30 per month.

Many Adobe customers, though, don't like the idea of paying for as long as they need the software and want Adobe to resurrect its previous option, a perpetual license that would let customers use a program as long as they want.

Updated at 9:26 a.m. PT with further details about the discounts.