It's common knowledge that one of the cheapest ways to get a legal copy of the latest Microsoft Office or Windows 7 package is by going down the educational root.
But now, according to one provider, software4students, it seems that Microsoft will be ending this scheme - which provided discounts of up to 90 per cent - by the end of March 2012.
However, the firm says it has been "working hard in order to offer you a new range of Microsoft products that will substitute the current ones" but warns already that "the prices will not be as highly discounted as in the former range".
The affected products include Microsoft Office Professional Plus, Windows 7 Upgrade, Expression Web 4, Expression Studio 4 Ultimate, Office for Mac 2011 and Windows 7 Professional.
Why would Microsoft end its educational partnership with software4students? Perhaps it is an attempt by the company to crack down on abuse of the system given that anybody can buy the software, as the seller relies on the buyer's own word and there's no student card required.
Other Microsoft-approved educational software sellers like the Basement, Phoenix software andPugh have yet to come out with a similar announcement.