Further Autodesk subscription inflexibility

Further Autodesk subscription inflexibility

Autodesk’s claim that its all-rental business model adds flexibility for customers has always been bullshit.

That’s a self-evident truth. Nobody believes that removing customers’ purchasing options amounts to anything but inflexibility. Particularly when the purchasing option removed is that preferred by the vast majority of customers.

But wait! There’s more! I recently discovered that it’s even more inflexible than I originally thought!

If you sign up for single-user (standalone) subscription licenses you’re stuck with them for the duration of your agreement. You can’t upgrade them to multi-user (network) licenses. Doesn’t matter how much cash you wave in Autodesk’s face, or how much you point out that single-user subscription licensing is a crock, it will be a case of “computer says no”.



  1. Darren Young

    Another little known issue with the rental licenses affects network rental. With a traditional perpetual license, you can set the borrow period for your network license up to 6 months. However, because the rental network licenses have an “Expiration”, you can’t borrow beyond the license term.

    3 months before your subscription expires, you can only borrow for 3 months. One month until renewal? You can only borrow for 30 days. If you’re in the last week of your subscription, you can only borrow for a week.

    If you have users ready to leave and work in a remote environment without connectivity for an extended period, you better hope they don’t depart for their assignment at the tail end of your subscription period.

  2. Kevin

    I feel like any change in the Autodesk world equals political turmoil. I have been running “rental” standalone for 18 months with no issues on a laptop that was and was not connected to the internet. ZERO issues.

    Now, if i forget to pay my electricity, then i’m only as good for as long as my battery, which lasts all of 10 mins since it’s 5 years old like the laptop itself.

    As a parent, when enough is enough, i have to set some rules, even for the good kids. Have you done work with folks that pirate the software? Better yet, work with a firm that installed the standalone version with 1 license on 20 machines? Yes, that actually happens today. I did some work with a firm that only had 1 license internally for a staff of 5 engineers and then sent work to a sister company that had no licenses for 30 drafters. This happens more than you know….

    So, if blame is your deal, shoot those flames at the other “kids” not your parents.

    1. Change can be good or bad. Good change gets praised and bad change gets called out. Problem?

      I would certainly hope that a single piece of software, paid for in advance, on a single laptop, with a single user isn’t disabled by license issues. That’s a very low bar. If you had been without connectivity for more than 30 days straight, your setup wouldn’t have reached even that bar.

      Piracy isn’t particularly relevant to this argument. It certainly won’t go away because of rental software, see here.

      Autodesk isn’t my parent, and I’m not a child to be punished for the naughtiness of others. I’m a customer. Customers are the ones holding the cash Autodesk needs to survive. If Autodesk wants the cash, it has to provide what customers want.

  3. So, my time was up today, and at about 4:48 PM my partner & I emailed the CC form, and ‘maintenance or subscription’ form back to our REP. Kind of reminded me of that short story about the ‘Lady or the Tiger’, the pre-Monte Hall version. After drilling deeper, and deeper into all the double talk, BS, smoke, and overhyped obfuscation it seemed to boil down to a few items: throughout the entire process of run up to our collective denouement, or ‘rape the small client base’ but keep all that C-level compensation rolling! I don’t know about you, but it seemed to me, that every email I received from management level functionaries (those with actual names, you know you’ve made it when you have a name), not a single one had a return email, or phone number, in fact, I could not find a single phone number or email listing in Google for anyone in Management at AD. And I searched, because I had plenty to say about garbage pedagogy for years, and now this.
    Is it that they don’t want to hear, know what they will hear, don’t care, or are just as cowardly as their plans are?
    Whatever, all of it I suppose.
    What it looks like to me, is if I stick with the Maintenance Plan, which in its better days was the heavily touted ‘Subscription Plan’, as opposed to the low-level connotation of the actual ‘software for rent’ name, has now magpie’d its way into the nest and given our subscriptions the old heave ho, and is now strutting about with the fancier ‘Subscription’ label. True to form, the Emporer still wears no clothes, just a label.
    Our choices seemed to be: change to Subscription, lose all title by right to our ‘owned’ software, as there seemed to be a policy of pressure to replace your already installed base, with their new and improved subscription version. You didn’t have to, but it was strongly recommended. I would hazard a guess that by the end of year 3, you will probably get leveraged. Why, because every promise they have made so far has been so dissembled, rationalized, and recast as meaning something other than plain English, so why when everything that in re-reading proves to have been salted with ‘hints’ that have come to fruition, I have to expect that current representations, when combined with ‘hints’ equals getting boxed again.
    Once you cross-over to the reinstall, or upgrades and service packs that ‘occur’ just happen to do it for you, whether you agree or not (it will turn up somewhere in the fine print, you betcha!) you also come across the bits and pieces that add up to saying, you don’t have a right to what you had once owned, and if you stop paying, you have no software. period. Yep, no software. and no right to run your pre-cross-over software, it seems either. That leads us to the choice that will make them rub your face in the dirt with as minimal service as they can impose on us, namely the hated (by them) “Maintenance Plan’ offer.
    So, first year, the same costs, even the 2nd year is a bump, not as small as it sounds, it’s compounded remember, and year 3, that 20% is actually 38.5(?)%. But, you get to keep what you own, and I believe that might even entitle you to any security patches or service packs that come out after you stop paying for that service, but what I believe you own by right and the bird we’ve all been flipped by AD, means we’ll probably be screwed out of that too.
    What does it all add up to? To me, it means I have 1, maybe 2 years to transition to another software platform, purchase it, and get up to speed. After over 20 years on AD, and believing them when they said buy, buy, buy, before the end of July 2016 to get every program we think we need before the curtain comes down, honored, supported, and protected for life, they said…. Totally devalued our suites, investments in software & training.
    So, does anyone want to buy an AutoCAD Building Design Suite Premium? Stand alone seat, buff condition, you could run a company off it, at least that’s what folks seem to be saying….

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