Exclusive: Autodesk Explains How Phasing Out Perpetual Licenses Will Help You
Autodesk InterviewWe reached out to Autodesk rep, Noah Cole, for a comment on why keeping all Autodesk customers up-to-date was so important to the company.
"We have thousands of other companies who are developing on top of our products....when you have a lot of people using significantly older versions of the software, it becomes really difficult for those companies to support so many different versions. So, if you've got someone running a version of AutoCAD that's ten years old, let's say, and someone else that running a version that's one year old, those are dramatically different products. So, it's really difficult for that ISV or for our development partner to support both of those customers at once."Cole went on to state that the impact of software version lag also extended to Autodesk's own internal development efforts. "Having everyone current on the same version will enable Autodesk to much more rapidly develop and innovate our software." Some are concerned about how the new subscription model would affect studios who must go off line or be locked down for extended periods during production. Cole explained that Autodesk's experience working with larger studios to customize products will serve as a similar precedent for going forward with these types of situations.
"That may mean putting features in the software to make it work offline. We are working to ensure that, as we roll this functionality out and as we move away from the perpetual license, it's not going to prevent customers from accessing their software either because they're working within a closed environment or working in a place without internet access."One concern with Autodesk's plans for integrating its Cloud services into each customer account is the issue of customer privacy and intellectual property. Cole informed us that the proposed desktop subscription model wouldn't require studios or individuals to store assets or sensitive date within their cloud services:
"We see a ton of value in the cloud in terms of the kind of collaboration it enables. As you may know we acquired ShotGun earlier this year, and their platform is cloud enabled. But we also know that every organization and individual is in a different place as far as their comfort level with the cloud. So, we want to offer the most cutting edge and best advantages of moving to the cloud for those who are ready. But for those who aren't ready to start storing their data in the cloud or start using the cloud for rendering, we want to give them options to do that locally. We are really sensitive to that and hear that from our customers."The move to an exclusive subscription model for Autodesk would bring them in line with other software companies like Adobe who have also adopted such models for similar reasons. The benefits are to lower start up costs for beginners and to make high end, professional software available to a much larger group of customers. Autodesk is betting on any revenue it looses up front will be offset with an increase in subscribers overall. You can listen to Anagnost's entire presentation at Autodesk's webcast. You can also look over all of Autodesk's current subscription models.