Today Autodesk announced that beginning February 1, 2016 most of its CAD software will be available only as a subscription license.
While users who currently own either a perpetual license or maintenance subscription will be able to keep their seats as is, those looking to invest in new Autodesk software after February of next year will have to sign-up for the company’s Desktop Subscription Service.
According to Andrew Anagnost, Autodesk Senior VP, the company’s switch to a subscription only paradigm is a reflection of the rapidly changing world of manufacturing and design.
"How the world is designed and made is changing, and how software is delivered is changing as well. The companies that embrace these changes will lead their industries toward a more nimble, connected and richer future… Our customers have long asked for greater flexibility and more value from their software investments. The shift to subscription allows Autodesk to deliver both, as well as an improved user experience and easier access to a broader portfolio of technology.”
As part of Autodesk’s new subscription plan users will have access to the same software that they’ve used for years as well as a new, improved scheme for software deployment, upgrades and maintenance. Rather than having to wait for service packs and yearly releases Desktop Subscription customers will have the most sophisticated and state-of-the-art tools at their disposal as soon as they’re released. What’s more, installation and management of updates will be easier regardless of whether you own one seat of Autodesk software or several hundred.
That’s the good news for customers. The good news for Autodesk is that soon all people who want to use Autodesk products will have to pay a regular fee to gain access.
While Autodesk’s move may irk some users, the move, in my opinion is a smart one. With barriers to starting a company, and even shaking up an industry, falling left and right, Autodesk’s new model is right in line with current design and manufacturing trends.
As more info about Autodesk’s Desktop Subscription service continues to pour in, we’ll have updates for you. This is a big day in the world of CAD. Watch this space.