Andrew Anagnost apology for AutoCAD 2019 rollout disaster

Autodesk CEO Andrew Anagnost has sent an email to customers affected by the AutoCAD 2019 rollout disaster that acted as a remote kill-switch for users of earlier releases of subscription software. The email’s subject is We Missed the Mark:

Image credit: R.K. McSwain

Readers of this blog will be aware that Andrew and I have fundamental disagreements on where he has taken the company, but credit where credit is due. An apology was appropriate in this case, and Andrew stepped up and made one.

He has also stated on Twitter that it won’t happen again. I don’t think such a guarantee is realistic, given that the nature of subscription software is to only work when it knows you’ve paid up. At least it demonstrates that the desire is there right at the top to try to prevent such debacles from occurring in future.

Autodesk watchers know that words mean little and actions are everything. I look forward to Andrew sharing news of the actions he’ll be taking to make good on his promise.

5 Comments

  1. Terry Stanley

    I have used Autocad LT for many years and have found it so beneficial for my use. I am not a heavy designer but fell in love with AutoCAD LT. I purchased the 2005 version, and subsequently the 2007 version. On a few occasions I have had to reinstall the program because of computer changes, or malfunctions and have been so very pleased with the support I got from your folks. As you know, each time you reinstall, you must have a new set of keys to activate it. I have had to do that 4 times since purchasing the program.
    Recently, I had to reinstall my 2007 LT and, once again, needed to call for support to get a new set of keys. Imagine my shock when I was informed “We do not support that version anymore”. Regardless of my begging and pleading with the support agent, he restated several times “I told you, we do not support that version any longer”, and told me I would have to purchase a new version. That is where you and I are at odds with each other.
    I feel like I am being treated unfairly. I purchased your product a long time ago with my hard-earned money, and like I stated earlier, find it a terrific product for my needs. I cannot help but believe this to be a wrong decision for Autodesk to abandon their customers. You and I both know there are other cad-type programs, many of them free, that can make drawings that I could download, but there really is no equal. I WANT TO USE THE PRODUCT I PURCHASED LONG AGO.
    Just in case you might feel sympathetic to my problem, and are able to help me reactivate my 2007LT, here are the credentials:
    [private information removed]
    I believe my last request code that was successful on 8/12/2016 was [removed]
    (A young lady named Katherin was so pleasant and helpful and gave me a new set of codes).
    Will you send me a set of codes that will unlock my program? If you can help me, thank you. If you choose to not help, I am sure there may be others who would like to hear my story.
    Respectfully submitted,

    [email removed]

    1. Welcome to the orphanage. Somebody at Autodesk long ago “suggested”, but did not recommend, that I search the Internet for a KeyGen which would allow re-authorization whenever it was required. After the initial install/authorization there’s no phone bother, no Internet tricks, no denials. One of the best support messages I ever received. – Bill

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