AutoDesk Drops Perpetual Licenses

Autodesk is raising software prices by switching from perpetual to annual and/or monthly subscription fees similar to Adobe’s pricing for most of its products. After Jan 31, 2016 only a fraction of Autodesk apps will be available for perpetual usage after purchase.
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Like Adobe, Autodesk is saying this will improve service to customers for 4 reasons:
1)customers will get continuous updates and fixes – the latest and greatest;
2)customers will get better support because old versions of software will decline as % of support calls;
3)Customers will have more flexibility in how they buy/rent Autodesk products;
4)Customers get better ongoing Cloud services including 25GB of free storage.
But effectively prices go up for Autodesk users:
AutoCAD 2016 Suite – perpetual = $4195, monthly = $210 or $2520/yr, yearly = $1680
Maya 2016 – perpetual = $3675, monthly = $185 or $2220/yr , yearly = $1470
3DS Max – perpetual = $3675, monthly = $185 or $2220/yr , yearly = $1470
AutoCAD Architecture = $5210, monthly = $265 or $2220/yr , yearly = $2100
I have a design buddy who says his shop will see software costs more than double because most of their Autodesk programs are 4-7 years old but after 2.5 years he will be paying extra for Autodesk.

Why Is Autodesk Doing This?

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Autodesk in 2015 had 3 quarters of negative income. The Stock Market, alraedy reeling, does not treat losses well. TheStreet reviewing Autodesk is typical:

Reviewed By: TheStreet Ratings on .
Report Summary: TheStreet Ratings team rates Autodesk Inc as a Hold with a ratings score of C-.
Report Snippet: We rate AUTODESK INC (ADSK) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed – some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company’s strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and weak operating cash flow.

Summary

Like Adobe users before, the 3D design community has only two days left to figure what is their best strategy to adopt to the new AutoDesk subscription model. One can see some welcoming a decline in immediate costs and the availability of constant updates where as others will have some hard choices.

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