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Autodesk to discontinue software upgrades

Thursday, October 10th, 2013 | Posted by Jim Thacker

131010_AutodeskUpgrades
 
An ‘old way to buy': a slide from Autodesk’s presentation to investors last week shows the company’s intention to discontinue upgrades to its software early in 2015, leaving users to rely on subscription contracts.

Autodesk will discontinue the option to purchase upgrades to its software from 1 February 2015, leaving a subscription contract or re-purchasing outright as the only way for customers to stay up to date with new features.

Moving into the ‘subscriber universe’
The news was announced by SVP of industry strategy and marketing Andrew Anagnost during a presentation to investors last week. Discussing the need to move “non-subscribers into the subscriber universe”, Anagnost said:

“[At the minute] they [customers] buy maintenance and they buy upgrades. Well, you know what? In a little over a year … they’re not going to be able to buy upgrades any more.”

“This is a logical change. It’s something we’ve been conditioning the [user] base to for many years. We’ve been making it clear that maintenance subscription is the best way to stay current [with our] applications. So as of February 1, 2015, they won’t be able to purchase an upgrade any more.”

Financial pressure
As this graph from GraphicSpeak indicates, although Autodesk’s finances are, broadly speaking, healthy, maintenance contracts are its only source of revenue that is consistently increasing year-on-year.

It’s a fact that Autodesk clearly intends to capitalise on – and, as a publicly traded company, is under considerable pressure to do so – even if that comes at the expense of customer choice.

Listen to Autodesk’s Investor Day presentations
(Registration required. The relevant section starts at 00:29:30)

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  • i3d

    There goes Autodesk!!! Adobe got it right, they borrowed from Microsoft, making a yearly subscription model on a monthly basis. Autodesk have an option like that, but unfortunately they charge a maintenance fee on top. Problem is VFX industry is going into hibernation mode and it will only get worse, what will Autodesk do when their high paying customers are no longer available?

  • RazorXcom

    Autodesk is making the smarter decision. Nope, Adobe got it wrong. At least if you quit Autodesk subscription you still have working software to open your files with. When you quit Adobe’s subscription model you have zero software to open your files with. Adobe will eventually get sued for violating and holding the Intellectual Property of artists hostage. One more thing, Autodesk doesn’t make most of its money from 3D software anyway. It makes the bulk of it from AutoCad and engineering software. In other words, if the 3D world slipped into oblivion it wouldn’t hurt Autodesk that much.

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