Note: SourceForge and Slashdot share a corporate parent.
Autodesk offers all of their software free to students, for 3 years. This article is mistaken that Autodesk is offering discounted software... EDU use is free.
This guy says is better than I can - http://balajiviswanathan.quora.com/Indian-Space-Mission-Poverty-and-Closet-Racism?srid=7qo&share=1
If you bothered to check what happened to the $4 billion, you would find out that they paid dividends and bought back stock. They didn't lose the money!
The cost of living hasn't affected its popularity.