Susan Smith has worked as an editor and writer in the technology industry for over 16 years. As an editor she has been responsible for the launch of a number of technology trade publications, both in print and online. Currently, Susan is the Editor of GISCafe and AECCafe, as well as those sites’ … More »
What Do You Think of CAD Subscription Programs?
September 14th, 2016 by Susan Smith
A year ago when Autodesk announced it was discontinuing perpetual software licenses for desktop standalone desktop products, many people were outraged and said they would continue to use their perpetual licenses but would not upgrade to the newly announced subscription-only model. Many users said that the cost of the subscription model would ultimately cost them more money than to have the license (licenses aren’t owned).
Some users said they would move over to another CAD software program at that time, a much cheaper program that also offered perpetual software licenses, or an option to purchase a subscription model, but not a requirement. Whether or not they did, remains to be seen.
Some users were concerned about their intellectual property becoming the property of the subscription program, perhaps meaning they would have to “rent” their very own documents. It would also lock their documents into the Autodesk format, which would be very difficult for some architects and engineers who work with numerous clients using a variety of competing CAD software products.
Autodesk’s release of AutoCAD 2017 was made “subscription-aware.” With Autodesk Desktop App, we began to see the growing emphasis on subscription as the app is subscription-aware, offering subscription-only updates and learning content for products under subscription.
With such a disturbance over this announcement, it was surprising to me that Autodesk’s recent financials suggested that the subscription program was largely responsible for the company’s favorable Second quarterly fiscal report.
Second Quarter Fiscal 2017
Industry experts suggest that’s because the subscription program is a steady inflow of cash. For larger multi-license companies, the subscription sounds like a good deal, and those companies are most likely going to go with it. The figure of “new model subscriptions increased 125,000 from the first quarter of fiscal 2017 to 692,000” is puzzling to me.
Have a substantial number of CAD users transitioned to other software programs as a result of this new Autodesk policy? Is the subscription program as successful as it seems, and if so, why? You can respond to this blog or to firstname.lastname@example.org with your experiences or perspectives. Love to hear from you!
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