TLDR (too long; didn't read)- With Apple moving to digital distribution, students pay more for the software, and (obviously) brick and mortar stores will suffer a bit. To put this out there right away I work for a college campus that is an authorized Apple reseller. We sell their computers at the official Apple education discount, and their software at a discount (sometimes) only available to education stores. With Apple's move to digital only distribution, the first people to loose out are Apple's authorized resellers. Those stores that literally made Apple what it is today. Apple only existed through authorized resellers before their foray into brick-and-mortar. For the longest time, authorized stores were double that of the retail stores that existed. However, these days Apple is strict on handing out licenses, and even stricter on handing out service provider licenses, and purposefully setting up locations near other popular third-party locations to cut them out of business. While software isn't a huge markup, neither is the one from Apple's cost on the machines (for resellers). So the software was just there to balance it out, in my opinion. It was something extra. Now, Apple has cut us out completely - with the exception of Logic Studio - every other Apple program that we sold has been officially moved to their online store. It won't be long until all of Apple's applications are digital. This will affect all third-part stores and campus stores. Now, this isn't a terrible thing altogether. There are pros and cons to moving to digital distribution which I won't bother to debate here. Brick and mortar stores obviously lose out as well. While I do not like that fact, that's not the entire point. The second, although most important victim of this shift to digital distribution, are the students. It is conceivable that Apple will have a digital education store, however the possibility of that is unlikely due to the main problem of discerning who exactly is a student without physical proof. For example the retail price of iWork was $79. On the digital store it is now $19.99 for each of the three apps totalling $60. Good if you want just one application or another, but still more expensive than the entire suite for students that sold for $39. iLife '11 retail was $79. Now only iMovie, iPhoto, and Garageband are available in the app store for $14.99 each. $45 gets you 3 of the original 5 applications they used to offer students for $29 (while it's possible Apple could release iDVD and iWeb, they did not update the products from iLife '09 to '11, so it's more likely that they have gone by the wayside). Final Cut Studio was $999 ($1,299?) retail. $299 for students! It came with Final Cut Pro, Motion, Color, Soundtrack Pro, Compressor, and DVD Studio Pro. Now you can get Final Cut Pro by itself for $299 on the app store. Motion and Compressor are separate for $49.99. More than any other application by Apple, several campuses have Final Cut courses. The coursework will have to shift or the students will just end up paying more (as will the departments that purchase volume licenses, since no educator store has arrived yet either). Apple has reinstated the previous version for volume licenses, but that won't last forever. Departments will also lose out if they do update to the newest version of Final Cut. It's not cost effective or necessary to switch from tape based cameras many have that they provide to students free of charge. Either they will continue using old software at a possible detriment to students' education with the latest and future versions of FC, or the courses could potentially be canceled because it won't be cost effective to upgrade all of the hardware and software they use. Aperture used to be ($199), is available on the app store for $79.99, and was available to students for $69. Logic Studio is just an update away from being replaced and split up as well. All of Apple's software will inevitably follow suit, many possibly already have, but this is my argument for why students will only lose out in the end of this transition. The same goes for the OS (Lion). While it is the same price Snow Leopard sold for at $29.99, no Apple related store will carry it while Apple itself is the only one that profits from it. And that pretty much sums up the "main" applications that many education stores sold that will now longer be available at a discount for students. Not only have several state school's (especially in California) tuitions gone up more than 20%, many who own Macs will also have to spend that little xtra bit to own popular Apple software. All while Microsoft and Adobe continue to offer physical copies, sometimes at 80% off. While many people will rely on the Apples App Store for their software, when people are going through school not relying or expecting your software, they're not going to miss it or want it when they get older and have the purchasing power to make their own decisions. --- This is only my opinion on the subject. I am not a writer so there are probably mistakes everywhere that I didn't catch. I am not angry at Apple. I am just disappointed with them moving so quickly from one side of distribuition to the other without any natural transition (as far their computer software goes. I know they've had the App Store for the iOS for a while). While I am an employee at a campus store, I am not a student (I actually can't afford to go to school, but that's a different story altogether). --- Update between where I originally posted this and me posting it here at MacRumors: Apple no longer carries the MacBook. The sub-$1000 notebook essentially aimed at students. They may offer it for educators only, but we don't know yet if it will be for actual campus stores, or only the institutions itself.