Autodesk Upgrade Pricing Ends January 31

Autodesk officially ends its upgrade pricing plans this month. After January 31, 2015, Autodesk customers will no longer be able to upgrade their licenses of Autodesk products to a newer version. This has been the practice of many Autodesk clients for decades. Company’s would purchase a license from Autodesk and sit on it for several years. When the need arose they would update to the latest version at a discounted price. This price was substantially cheaper than purchasing a brand new license and they only had to spend the money when they absolutely had to. The only other reason spend money was when a company needed an additional license.

Autodesk software isn’t cheap. A single license for one of their products could cost anywhere from $1000 to $7000 easy (US Dollars).  A single perpetual license of AutoCAD could cost around $4000 (estimated pricing) with the upgrade at half the price, depending on when you update and how old your version was. These upgrade prices changed throughout the years with the price slowly increasing as time went on.

In late 2013 Autodesk announced that on January 31, 2015, would be the end of this pricing program. This means that if your company purchased a perpetual license of an Autodesk product you will have to pay full price for a newer version when it is available.  What happened in the update program was that your original license was changed, for a smaller fee, to apply to the latest version of that product. Now you will not be able to do this. You will still own your original license to the older software you will have to purchase a second license for the newer version. The majority of the time users don’t need this second license, they just want the updated version of the software.

This practice is ending. Instead, companies will now have to pay up or pay for a maintenance contract known to most as subscription. A company will pay for a license then pay the maintenance fee that lasts for one year. Each year that maintenance contract can be renewed. That fee is substantially cheaper than a full license. The contract provides some tech support, access to other services but most importantly it grants the license holder access to any updates to newer versions that may become available during the maintenance contract.  Many companies have been taking part in this payment method for a long time. It works just fine and most companies won’t even notice the update policy is changing, except for the inundation of emails we have all been receiving concerning this change.

Last year Autodesk also announced a “pay as you go” plan for many of their products.

There is no upfront license fee to pay so the initial cost is much cheaper. This program is ideal to fill the needs of a short term project or to supply temporary employees with the software tools they need. You only pay for what you need for as long as you need it.  Long term though it the pricing plans mean you will pay more for this program than if you purchase a license out right.

So what does this mean for your company? If you are already on a maintenance subscription plan it means nothing. If you were of the group that only updated every few years then you might be in for a surprise. If you want to update and are not on subscription you need to make your update now before time runs out in a few days.

For more information about Autodesk's upgrade policy chack out this page on Autodesk's website.