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Academic retail software is a full version of a software package that is sold only to academic users at a discounted price. The software package is generally factory-sealed in retail boxes for distribution to academic users only and not for commercial use.
Authorized education resellers offer academic software at a discounted price to university, college professors, and students. These academic versions contain the same functionality as the full-priced retail versions, but academic retail software has provisions in the end-user license agreement that state that the software cannot be used to create anything for business use, it is restricted for educational use.
One of the reasons that manufacturers offer discounts on academic versions of the software is the special end-user agreement (EUA). The EUA prohibits the use of academic software for commercial or financial gain. Once students graduate, they can no longer use the academic software programs in their related working fields, and they must then upgrade to the retail versions by purchasing a retail copy. Offering educational discounts on retail software is therefore a marketing strategy, because students get accustomed to the software titles, thus making it more likely that they will buy the full retail versions of this software when they graduate.