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Autodesk: all of our products will soon go online

Thursday, April 19th, 2012 | Posted by Jim Thacker

Carl Bass in conversation with TechCrunch’s Andrew Keen. “Two to three years from now, every one of our products will be used online. The only way to use them will be online,” claimed the Autodesk CEO.

TechCrunch has posted a fascinating interview with Autodesk CEO Carl Bass, in which he claims that the internet will soon be the only way to access the company’s software.

“I’d say two to three years from now, every one of our products will be used online. The only way to use them will be online,” Bass told interviewer Andrew Keen.

Say, what?
Before visions of 3ds Max and Maya on demand fill your head, it’s worth noting that the quote comes in response to Keen’s challenge to justify Autodesk’s relevance in the digital age; and that Bass is probably thinking more of the company’s non-entertainment products.

The company has recently launched mobile versions of key engineering products, such as AutoCAD WS, and new cloud-based services aimed at design and manufacturing, including Autodesk 360 and PLM 360.

A cautious transition for Media & Entertainment products
However, at the recent launch event for the company’s 2013 product range, at which online services were also a key theme, Autodesk senior vice president Marc Petit told CG Channel:

“Cloud technologies will help [large games and VFX companies] have better utilisation of their hardware infrastructures, but they’re not going to live on borrowed cycles from Amazon.”

Petit went on to comment that migration to online services would be more difficult in the Autodesk’s Media & Entertainment division “because our [bandwidth] requirements are very high. Take simulation. The output of simulation in design is a picture that shows where the stress is. In visual effects, it’s terabytes of data.”

Our conclusion? That the internet may not literally be the only way to access Max or Maya in two years time, but it’s definitely where Autodesk as a whole is headed. Check back in 2014 to find out.

See the interview on TechCrunch (The crucial quote comes at 02:25)

Hat tip to Max Underground for spotting this little nugget.

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  • I think it’s a good move for a company but If you start thinking about the data traffic that this move will generate – think about it – hundred of thousands of users, “average file size” – which could be few Mb to Few hundreds Mb + textures or any other files needed.

  • Meat puppet

    I’ve been saying it for YEARS! this is where it’s heading Thanks a lot FU@*ING Pirates!!!

  • Ark

    I think you got it wrong… this has nothing to do with pirates, the hole market is going that way, and it’s only a stronger way for them to monetize their products. And since when you “buy” a license now you are in fact paying to be allowed to “use” it, you will not own anything anymore, no internet ? well you just can’t work anymore… sweet isn’t it ?

  • Rey

    I don’t see this being successful for packages like Maya / SoftImage / 3DMax and VFX composting packages. There are film & game studios that purposely don’t have their computers connected to the web due to viruses and to protect their intellectual properties from hackers. Even if you have a top notch internet connection, your still going to have lag. Imagine a school lab with 100+ computers running Maya at the same time, how laggy it would be just to extrude a polygon face.

  • Nick

    And what if someone wants to work in an isolated island for a couple weeks or so with no internet access?

  • Al

    Plug up the pipes even more and risk compromising ones security. At this rate i have to have one PC for the software with internet and one for my personal data with no internet or simply stop using there software. They can sod off.

  • meat puppet

    blender here I come!

  • kreater

    Carl Bass, this is a horrible idea! That means if your users are in the middle of a production pinch and the studio internet access goes down (I’ve seen it happen on project deliveries), the entire production comes to a grinding holt! That’s not reliability!
    What about areas of production that is computationally based such as rendering, fluids sims, caching, on a huge farm?
    I’m a supervisor for a major studio and I can already tell you we will switch to different applications’S because it’s too high risk.

    I remember back in the mid 90’s there was talk about putting all of their applications on PCI memory card.
    I don’t know what idea is worse!!!


  • cookieMunch

    This cannot work unless we’ll become like Borg collective. I simply refuse to buy any software or game which forces me to work or play online.

  • Peter H.

    cloud is like communism 🙂

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