Adobe announced last night that they will be offering Flex Builder 2.0 at no cost to students and faculties. This is a very shrewd move and may help nip Microsoft’s continued steam-rolling of Silverlight into the mass market in the bud in the interim. Plus of course it will create new generation of Flex developers and designers right out of college which is never a bad thing. All we need now is more people to actually train them :p
According to the official press release
Web 2.0 technologies have spurred the development of RIAs that enable data sharing, collaboration, user participation, social networking, and more. Flex is the industry’s most advanced framework for building cross-operating system RIAs for the Web. By offering Flex Builder 2 at no cost, educational institutions will be able to improve students’ and researchers’ knowledge of RIA development. With Flex 3, currently in public beta, students will be able to extend their RIAs to the desktop using Adobe® AIR™.
“By making it easier for educational institutions to adopt Flex 2, we are ensuring that students and researchers are better equipped to harness the power of Web 2.0 and RIAs,” said Peter Isaacson, vice president of education marketing at Adobe. “It is clear that RIAs are the future of Web development, and a strong skill set in RIA development will serve students well in their careers.”
“As someone who teaches a Flex course, I applaud Adobe for helping to provide the free software that will help professors better prepare our students for the future,” said Yakov Fain, adjunct professor at New York University. “People with Adobe Flex skills are already in big demand in the industry, and this smart move will help to substantially increase the number of Flex-enabled college graduates. We are pleased to be among the first universities to offer this kind of coursework to our students.”
Yahoo also run with this story, and while it appears in their News & opinion section it doesn’t offer much more at this point beyond reproducing the Adobe press release.