Hidden in amongst a bunch of the usual highly dubious subscription statements from Carl Bass is an announcement that spells doom for Autodesk perpetual license owners. I will resist the temptation to skewer Carl’s spin (for now) because this announcement is much more important:
Bass also confirmed that the company plans to converge the two existing subscription models — maintenance and product subscriptions — into a single offering over the next two years. “If you look out to fiscal year 2020, we want to be in a place where, first of all, we have a single kind of offering with a single back office and infrastructure to support it, one that will be a combination of product subscriptions as you see them plus a consumption model on top of it. That’s where we see the business heading.
“Along the way, it’s how do we motivate customers to move from one model to another in the program, what are the price points, and how does that transition work? In our mind, getting to a single model is really important. It will give the best service to our customers, it will be the most affordable for us to have, [and] we can start getting rid of some of the systems that were designed for a different era and concentrate on giving a world-class experience to users.”
Translation: Autodesk is going to drive up prices of maintenance subscription (perpetual license keeping-up-to-date fee) to match the much higher prices of product subscription (rental). Maintenance subscription will then be merged into oblivion. Your return on your long-term investment in Autodesk software will be zero. Your reward for decades of loyalty to Autodesk will be to have your software costs blown through the roof.
If you’re not already making plans to abandon the Autodesk ship, you really need to do so now. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Don’t say Carl didn’t warn you.
Get out or get screwed big-time. I mean, get out or get motivated to transition into a world-class experience.