Autodesk Goes Desktop Subscription Only in 2016!

Autodesk just announced that in 2016 they are making a move to Desktop Subscription. This change takes effect on February 1, 2016.

What does this mean? Next year if you purchase a new license of an Autodesk product you can only get it as a Desktop Subscription. This type of license is a pay-as-you-go model. Essentially you pay each month, each quarter, or once a year. Once you stop paying you no longer have the license. Stop paying and you can't use the software.

What happens to your current licenses? Nothing. they will continue to work just as they always have. All perpetual licenses are still perpetual meaning you can continue to use it as you always have. If you have a Maintenance Subscription License you will still receive your benefits accordingly as long as the subscription remains current. That means you will still be able to pay your yearly subscription fee to continue on as you have been. Nothing will change for you. You just can't get a new Maintenance Subscription after February 1, 2016 because you can't get a perpetual license.

This is a list of products that will be affected by this change:

  • 3ds Max®
  • AutoCAD®
  • AutoCAD LT®
  • AutoCAD for Mac
  • AutoCAD LT for Mac
  • AutoCAD® Architecture
  • AutoCAD® Electrical
  • AutoCAD® Mechanical
  • InfraWorks®
  • Inventor ®
  • Inventor® Professional
  • Inventor LT®
  • Maya®
  • Maya LT™
  • MotionBuilder®
  • Mudbox®
  • Navisworks® Simulate
  • Navisworks® Manage
  • Revit® Architecture
  • Revit® MEP
  • Revit® Structure
  • Revit LT™

What about Design Suites? From Autodesk's website "New perpetual licenses for Autodesk Design & Creation Suites and other suite offerings will continue to be offered beyond February 1, 2016. Any transition to a subscription-only based offering for Suites after that time will be communicated well in advance."

Ok so there will be some perpetual licenses still available you just have to get the bundled suites to get them. Autodesk told me that they are on a 2-year plan. The first year starts now and goes until February 1, 2016 when standalone perpetual licenses will end. Design suite perpetual licenses will be available after that date for one more year. By 2017, it seems, that all products, standalone and suite alike, will all be on subscription only for any new licenses.

How do you feel about this? How will it affect your companies software purchases? Your budget?

Here are a few links to Autodesk's announcement and discussions about this change:

Press Release
Desktop Subscription

Here is the full press release:

Wednesday, February 4, 2015 8:00 am EST
Public Company Information:

"With today’s announcement, we are giving our customers a full year to plan for these changes, and will continue to be transparent about our plans"
SAN RAFAEL, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today Autodesk, Inc. (Nasdaq:ADSK) announced that new commercial seats of most standalone desktop software products will be available only by Desktop Subscription beginning February 1, 2016. Through these changes, Autodesk is continuing its transition to subscription-based offerings for its products, which provide customers a simplified product management and deployment experience, and makes it easier to introduce new tools and technology into the workflow with lower upfront cost and the ability to pay as you go.

"How the world is designed and made is changing, and how software is delivered is changing as well. The companies that embrace these changes will lead their industries toward a more nimble, connected and richer future,” said Andrew Anagnost, Autodesk senior vice president of Industry Strategy & Marketing. "Our customers have long asked for greater flexibility and more value from their software investments. The shift to subscription allows Autodesk to deliver both, as well as an improved user experience and easier access to a broader portfolio of technology.”

Autodesk Desktop Subscription offers a simplified installation, management and upgrade experience, flexible payment terms, and broader access rights across multiple devices. Autodesk plans to continually innovate and improve Desktop Subscription products to more tightly integrate them with Autodesk cloud services and reduce file compatibility issues.

Autodesk customers who have purchased perpetual licenses prior to February 1, 2016 will be able to continue to use those licenses, and customers on Maintenance Subscription will continue to receive corresponding benefits for as long as their subscription remains active. Autodesk will also continue to offer Cloud Services Subscriptions.

“With today’s announcement, we are giving our customers a full year to plan for these changes, and will continue to be transparent about our plans,” continued Anagnost. “Autodesk will be working closely with our customers and partners to ease the impact of these changes, and we are committed to making the transition as smooth as possible.”

For full details on today’s announcement and subscription options, please visit

Safe Harbor Statement

This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, including statements regarding our products, product availability, product capabilities, and other statements regarding our strategies, market and products positions, performance, and results. There are a significant number of factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from statements made in this press release, including: general market, political, economic and business conditions; failure to successfully manage transitions to new business models and markets, including the introduction of additional ratable revenue streams and our continuing efforts to attract customers to our cloud-based offerings and expenses related to the transition of our business model; slowing momentum in subscription billings or revenues; difficulty in predicting revenue from new businesses and the potential impact on our financial results from changes in our business models; failure to achieve sufficient sell-through in our channels for new or existing products; pricing pressure; the timing and degree of expected investments in growth and efficiency opportunities; and changes in the timing of product releases and retirements.

Further information on potential factors that could affect the financial results of Autodesk are included in Autodesk's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended January 31, 2014 and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for the quarters ended April 30, July 31, 2014 and October 31, 2014, which are on file with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Autodesk does not assume any obligation to update the forward-looking statements provided to reflect events that occur or circumstances that exist after the date on which they were made.

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