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Autodesk To Follow Adobe's 'Rent Our Software' Business Model?

Soulskill posted 1 year,10 days | from the apparently-the-market-has-decided dept.

Software 89

dryriver writes "Autodesk will detail in October an 'evolution' of its business model that includes more options to rent its software, rather than buying it, CEO Carl Bass said in an earnings conference call yesterday. Bass promised an array of new rental options by the end of the year that he said will give customers more subscription options and increase the predictability of the company's revenue over time. Bass stressed that Autodesk wasn't upending its existing model, but augmenting it. 'Recall that, just 10 years ago, we added subscription maintenance to our revenue stream,' he said. 'That was a big change at the time, and there was no shortage of skeptics. Today, that's a billion-dollar business and represents over 40% of our revenue. Suffice it to say that transition was a huge success.' Analysts on the call immediately started drawing comparisons with Adobe's move earlier this year to a subscription-only pricing model for its Creative Cloud software. Bass said that Adobe's success made Autodesk more confident about the feasibility of rental pricing, but suggested that Autodesk's move wouldn't be quite as aggressive."

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Rent-seeking (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#44659501)

No surer sign of a lack of imagination.

Re:Rent-seeking (2)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | 1 year,10 days | (#44659755)

AutoDesk were Microsoft's biggest corporate customer for cloud-based Exchange and Sharepoint services, and later Office365. When MS introduced this in 2008, the AutoDesk pilot pointed the way.

They have been also getting there feet wet with cloud-based ancillary products and offerings of their own - usually free ones.

So?

I'd be more surprised if AutoDesk weren't moving to subscription delivery of online product. They are the most widely "pirated" company of non-consumer software, ever. :-)

Not that this makes rentier behaviour any more palatable...

Re:Rent-seeking (3, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | 1 year,9 days | (#44660015)

"I'd be more surprised if AutoDesk weren't moving to subscription delivery of online product. They are the most widely "pirated" company of non-consumer software, ever. :-)"

Given that, for most of the software Autodesk makes, 'online product' is going to mean 'you download the install package and the DRM phones home a lot' rather than 'runs in a web page' or 'is delivered via ICA/RDP/X11/whatever from Autodesk's machine'. Heavy 3d (and customers who may not be at liberty to just ignore NDAs surrounding the stuff they are working on) don't fit well with that model unless you have impressive bandwidth and minimal latency.

Because of that, the anti-piracy effects of 'cloud' (in this sense) are pretty minimal, they certainly have been with Adobe's flavor. What this sort of subscription model does do, though, is remove the need to make version N+1 so compelling that people who own version N or version N-1 are moved to buy it, or at least pay an upgrade fee. This doesn't mean that you'll totally stop making improvements or adding features; but you get paid either way, so you no longer face the "Is our new product actually a meaningful improvement over our old one?" test on a regular basis.

That's what makes moving to a subscription model (for what is fundamentally client software, obviously charging fees for ongoing access to things hosted on my servers or otherwise generating recurring costs is a different matter) raises suspicions of 'lack of imagination'. Do you have enough market power that you can dictate an often-unpopular pricing arrangement? Do you suspect that you have no ideas for version N+1 that will motivate people to upgrade? Subscription model time!

Re:Rent-seeking (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44660775)

and customers who may not be at liberty to just ignore NDAs

Actually, that's an important point. If you're going to sell to defense contractors, you probably aren't going to be able to sell them software that is delivered via the "cloud" or phones home a lot, especially if what they are working on requires a security clearance. I would imagine that's why AutoDesk can't be that agressive with the move to a complete rental model.

Re:Rent-seeking (2)

lightknight (213164) | 1 year,9 days | (#44661131)

In other words, it's greed + stupidity, it's going to be seen as a huge disaster in a decade, but in the short term "everyone is doing it, and making lots of money, so we should totally be doing it too."

Except your customers are totally going to remember that you fucked them, and fucked them good. They'll pay it short term, don't get me wrong...you got them up against the wall; but major companies will begin looking into projects to, heh, lighten the rental costs. Those will come to fruition in about a decade, maybe less, maybe more.

And the added bonus? You're totally forgetting about all the students who are going to have to use a free variant of CAD, not made by AutoCAD, and will be totally unfamiliar with AutoCAD when they get out...increasing training costs, decreasing productivity, and introducing the possibility of the free stuff eventually displacing AutoCAD in the work place. But, you say, they can always use a pirated copy if they want to learn AutoCAD...well, your dial-home DRM / Cloud stuff prevents that, doesn't it? But, you say, surely we will make it cheap enough for them to purchase as an Academic version, or for their college / university to provide to the...except college / universities are also into 'saving money,' and would totally cut the legs out from under AutoCAD if it meant an extra pack of cigarettes at the end of the day; and college students...well, between those loans, hideously low wages, and of course, just being college students (beer first, bros), no one is spending money on a monthly subscription to AutoCAD cloud.

Re:Rent-seeking (1)

Stan92057 (737634) | 1 year,9 days | (#44664405)

"They are the most widely "pirated" company of non-consumer software, ever."

Which is i bet the main reason most people dont want to upgrade from XP they know the stolen copy of Photoshop wont work anymore on newer versions.

Re:Rent-seeking (1)

Zaelath (2588189) | 1 year,7 days | (#44674087)

That would be surprising, given CS2 works on Windows 7 if you install it in the right folder after a 2 minute google on the problem.

Re:Rent-seeking (2)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | 1 year,9 days | (#44663507)

Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day.

Be the only one around who owns fishing equipment and you can rent it to him on a daily basis for the rest of his life.

Re:Rent-seeking (1)

Stan92057 (737634) | 1 year,9 days | (#44664415)

In order for that to happen the software cant be made to run on windows anymore which will mean people will not upgrade and just use the 101st version of photoshop lol

Not a huge change for them. (1)

guru42101 (851700) | 1 year,10 days | (#44659505)

Companies using AutoCad are used to having reoccurring annual license fees, unlike those using Photoshop. However, I wonder how/if this will effect their customers who need to use multiple versions of AutoCad. The engineering company I did IT work for years ago used the latest version for some projects but most required the previous version (generally government projects).

Re:Not a huge change for them. (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | 1 year,9 days | (#44660159)

Adobe gets around this by promising that you can 'keep' your old versions around and just 'move forward' for new stuff. I would imagine that Autodesk would do the same. After some reasonable amount of time, the only version standing will be the current one and all you have to do is to make sure the old formats still load. Which is what software companies should do anyway.

However, one gets the impression from TFA that Autodesk is planning (at least in the short term) to do a hybrid model. Sell both the packaged, forever versions and sell subscriptions. If that is the case, I have less heartburn about it. I actually like the Adobe subscription plan - for me, it's a bit cheaper and quite a bit more flexible. (The annoyance of having to install patches / upgrades twice a week though is actually killing my enthusiasm for this). But I do want the ability to say 'stop' - no more upgrading - if the price goes through the roof or if I simply don't find any rational reason to upgrade.

Adobe would have gotten a ton less heat if 1) they didn't call it 'Creative Cloud' since the 'cloud' has very little to do with the new model and just confused people and 2) allowed either a subscription model or forever pricing. But since Adobe's marketing is too stupid to understand the difference between DRM servers and distributed computing, you can't expect too much.

Re:Not a huge change for them. (1)

Silvrmane (773720) | 1 year,9 days | (#44660425)

for me, it's a bit cheaper and quite a bit more flexible

Is it really? Because I ran the numbers and it gets quite a bit MORE expensive, especially in a shop like ours, once you consider past the 1st year "buy it" costs vs. rental. The CC model is a gigantic screw job. Don't believe me though, just run the numbers. You're paying quite handsomely for a product you used to be able to just buy and own, and the moment you stop paying the monthy fee, you can no longer open your old files. Something to think about.

Bingo (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44660661)

Yes, yearly software maintenance fees are de rigueur for high end professional software and have been decades. That /. finds this practice to be surprising is laughable.

Impeach Obummer! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#44659507)

Impeach Obummer! And then prosecute him and Monkey Boy Dubya as traitors to America.

Kick Obama Hussein Barack out of office! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#44659665)

Why is the mainstream media not reporting this [gopthedailydose.com] ? Obummer's been caught with his hand in the Muslim Brotherhood's cookie jar.

Re:Kick Obama Hussein Barack out of office! (0)

Mister Liberty (769145) | 1 year,9 days | (#44660675)

I am unfamiliar with the story you link to, but am synpathetic to the suggestion that
Ovama is one of the biggest criminals of our time. He is.

Re:Impeach Obummer! (0)

Mister Liberty (769145) | 1 year,9 days | (#44660663)

I agree.

PIRATES UNITE !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#44659515)

Do not stand for this !! It is a crime !!

Time to use Blender? No. Here's why: (2, Interesting)

goruka (1721094) | 1 year,10 days | (#44659577)

First of all, before many here start mentioning Blender, Autodesk already has this kind of pay-per use business model with medium to large companies, where they provide software per seat, render farms and support.
Blender has been ready for mainstream usage for a long time now, and plenty of small studios around the world already use it for short films, game development, commercials and special effects. It's actually the lack of this kind of support and corporate presence what is avoiding it to get more adoption in larger companies.
So, this is not a chance for Blender, quite the contrary, Blender needs to do more like Autodesk.

Re: Time to use Blender? No. Here's why: (1)

phrostie (121428) | 1 year,9 days | (#44660075)

Or www.bricsys.com/bricscad/

try it. They have a 30 day demo

Re:Time to use Blender? No. Here's why: (1)

ducomputergeek (595742) | 1 year,9 days | (#44661009)

Has Blender stopped making major UI changes every six months? Because that was what was happening a few years ago. I enjoyed doing 3D as a hobby. Got started with Lightwave in College, but at $3k at the time it was a little pricy for me. Blender was free and while it took more tweaking to get similar results it could be done and it was fun. For me the hobbyist Blender 2.25 ~ 2.41 was great.

Well then Blender began making huge UI changes every few months. By the time I'd relearn it, update files, it would change again. Which meant hours of going back and redoing old shots. And given that I only had a few hours every week I said screw and bought a copy of Lightwave 9 for around $1000.

What amazed me most was while there were new features it took me about a sunday afternoon to relearn myself with the UI of lightwave 9. Frankly it hadn't changed that much since the days of 5.6 I used in College. Lightwave 9 was about 10 years after 5.6. A consistent UI for a decade. Whether it was a good/bad ui is up for debate, but at least it was consistent.

Blender needs to do the same? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | 1 year,9 days | (#44663473)

Ummm if you haven't noticed blender is opensource, it came from being closed source where it sat languishing until the community ( me included ) bought the source and its development/use exploded.

Openness is NOT the problem here. Marketing however, is.

Adobe lost my upgrade Dollars (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#44659607)

I will be sticking with Photoshop CS6, and I won't be 'renting' any software... Adobe has managed to get away with this, as PS is/was the only game in town.. And no, GIMP is not competition (and I have been using that, since the late-90s).. I wonder how many realize that GTK actually stands for Gimp ToolKit?

Re:Adobe lost my upgrade Dollars (4, Interesting)

dgatwood (11270) | 1 year,10 days | (#44659799)

Photoshop was the only game in town. They're losing the low end rather rapidly to other companies like Corel and Pixelmator. It's only a matter of time before that erosion eliminates their market.

Worse, Adobe's decision is having serious fallout for other communities like the photographer community that historically always used Photoshop for their touch-up work because it integrated well with Lightroom. Even though they haven't been stupid enough to make LR cloud-only, there are a lot of folks who are very unhappy with the current state of affairs.

I suspect that within two or three years, one of two things will happen: Adobe will back-pedal on the whole rental-only model or Pixelmator and Corel Paint will get significantly improved, fully native DNG support and photographers will dump Photoshop en masse, and along with it, quite possibly Lightroom. The current situation is simply unsustainable.

For Autodesk, I doubt anyone will care. From what I've seen, outside the corporate world, nobody in their right minds uses Autodesk's products unless they have no alternative, so you can safely assume that they're going to milk this for every penny it is worth until they eventually go belly up. Their goose is cooked; it's just a question of who is going to carve.

Re:Adobe lost my upgrade Dollars (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#44659847)

Heck, after releasing their own old versions, Adobe's lost to themselves

Re: Adobe lost my upgrade Dollars (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#44659849)

"Adobe will back-pedal on the whole rental-only model"

I hope so.

Re:Adobe lost my upgrade Dollars (2)

Rinikusu (28164) | 1 year,9 days | (#44659851)

From a student standpoint, I'm okay with Creative Cloud. $19/month and I get the latest version of whatever software I'm using, even if they do a number jump. Granted, I'm not using Photoshop, but Premiere, After Effects, Audition, and SpeedGrade, primarily. Buying the academic pack would be around $250-300. I'll be using this software for the next year or so, and I get free upgrades that would normally cost another $250-300 for the Academic versions (at least, that's how I remember: Academic licensing was cheap, but not upgradable). That's good, in my book.

However, I can also say that I'm looking heavily into replacing my entire production stack with Open Source video editing options to prove to myself that it can be done. I may have to give up a few niceties (the interaction between AE-PR-AU is very nice), but that's okay. I'm not shooting the next EPIC, I'm shooting short films and learning as I go.

Re:Adobe lost my upgrade Dollars (4, Interesting)

MatthiasF (1853064) | 1 year,9 days | (#44659945)

For the amount of money you pay for some college classes and the simple fact that you usually use the same software across several classes, I do not understand why the universities and colleges just don't comp the software to the students using a similar rental model from the software vendors for the duration of the classes.

Even in an academic setting, the rental model is more expensive than the academic versions previously. If Adobe upgraded their software every two years, as they had for a long time, then you'd be paying about $150 a year.

Renting at $20 a month is $240 a year, so students are actually getting screwed too.

Corporations are incredibly pissed from what I have seen personally and have the same sentiment as OP.

Re:Adobe lost my upgrade Dollars (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | 1 year,9 days | (#44660259)

Renting at $20 a month is $240 a year, so students are actually getting screwed too.

Sort of. $20 / month gives you the entire Creative Suite (at least this year). Not bad if you're using more than two or three applications. For a student, it could open up a lot of possibilites.

Until next year when they double the price, of course.

Re:Adobe lost my upgrade Dollars (3, Insightful)

Rinikusu (28164) | 1 year,9 days | (#44660339)

Exactly. $20/month, I'm in. $40/month? No thanks, unless I magically get a job doing this for a living.

Honestly, if I could give aspiring filmmakers some advice:

It doesn't matter what you cut on, it's the film that matters. No one watches your movie and says "Man, I bet this was cut on an AVID system!" Workflow is a trivia question at best, and based on the quality of films I had in class, the Editor used was the last thing that mattered. Some of our best films were cut on iMovie and MovieMaker. I used both Vegas and Premiere. Same thing with the camera: the guy that shot on a borrowed $7k camera? It looked pretty good, but I wish he learned how to write a better story. The best film of the semester was shot on an iPad (imo, of course. it actually placed 2nd behind a film shot on a t3i). You can learn to shoot a film using your web cam if you're smart about it. Sound, on the other hand...

Re:Adobe lost my upgrade Dollars (1)

Rinikusu (28164) | 1 year,9 days | (#44660291)

My school is cheap ($125 per class), but I understand where you're coming from. I thought "hey, cheap class!' and got into film school, but I've spent well over that in camera, lenses, tripods, memory cards, batteries, software, laptop, etc etc. Now, like I mentioned in another response, my school actually has cameras and a lab where I could have done all my editing and filming on for "free", but then I'd have to schedule equipment check out, take time off from work to go edit in their labs that are only open between X hours, etc. I can see where the software companies would have issues with "control", i.e., how would they enforce that you only used their software during the semester and not between semesters? What if you drop the class? Not saying it couldn't be done, but there it is.

Also, you're forgetting, that even if I purchased the $250-300 academic package, I'm only getting a subset of the Adobe Suite. For $240/year, I get Photoshop (which I actually did end up using a couple times), Illustrator, blah blah. That might not be worth it to you, but I'm okay with that. To each his own.

Re:Adobe lost my upgrade Dollars (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#44667269)

2 things.... Unlike Adobe, the rental model is a supplemental way to access the software. You can buy it like normal or essentially "lease" it. The second thing- If you are a student, you can get a 3yr, non-commercial (NOT feature restricted) license for any Autodesk software .

Re:Adobe lost my upgrade Dollars (1)

dgatwood (11270) | 1 year,9 days | (#44660101)

$19/month and I get the latest version of whatever software I'm using, even if they do a number jump

But why do you care if you have the latest version? Unless you're working in the industry or using the apps on a daily basis, a three-year-old version is likely just as good as the current one.

Re:Adobe lost my upgrade Dollars (1)

Rinikusu (28164) | 1 year,9 days | (#44660171)

Because I care. And that's all that really matters, right?

Re:Adobe lost my upgrade Dollars (1)

Rinikusu (28164) | 1 year,9 days | (#44660227)

More seriously, you're actually right, but for a "poor college student", I can scrape up $20/month vs paying the $250-300 (just looked at ebay, more like $500?) for the academic retail package up front. Truth be told, I could do all of what I did this semester with Sony Vegas HD, or probably through Cinelerra if I went the Linux route (I don't have a mac at the moment). The school uses iMovie HD and frankly, they don't really care what we edit on: they just want the students to learn how to shoot and cut a movie, software be damned. Some of use used the Adobe suite (well, I did), some of us used Final Cut, others used various free options. When it comes right down to it, it was really "because I can" and I wanted to see what the fuss of a cloud based option was about. $20/month is cheap enough for me, but once it goes up to $40 I'll most likely drop it. If I were depending upon Adobe for my livelihood, $40/month is *nothing*. I'm not doing this for a living (yet?), but I don't mind using the pro-level software for cheap.

Re:Adobe lost my upgrade Dollars (1)

Y-Crate (540566) | 1 year,9 days | (#44660793)

If your intent is to move into professional production, learn Avid, FCP and Premiere - in that order. Though, truth be told, Premiere comes in a distant third. It's been gaining ground since the FCP X disaster, but doesn't quite have the same market penetration.

Honestly, almost no one is going to care about the content of your student projects. But they will care that you used them to learn how to work with different editing platforms.

Re:Adobe lost my upgrade Dollars (1)

Rinikusu (28164) | 1 year,9 days | (#44665061)

Your student projects = your reel. We've got quite a few industry pros in the classes for shits and giggles (and I've got got plenty in my circle of peers.. this is hollywood...) and they've all said basically the same thing: an editing suite is an editing suite. Similar to programming languages, once you've learned one the concepts are the same across the board. Implementation may be slightly different or the feature set might be more robust between them, but unless you're a freelancer who is required to use the production stack of the company you're working for, it's the content that matters. Remember, though, I'm coming from this from the filmmaker aspect, not the technician. If the goal is to work in a production house editing other people's work, then becoming proficient with their tools would be paramount to increasing your chances for employment, just like if you're applying for developer positions, knowing or being very proficient in the stack they're advertising for would be helpful.

Re:Adobe lost my upgrade Dollars (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | 1 year,9 days | (#44660219)

Photoshop was the only game in town. They're losing the low end rather rapidly to other companies like Corel and Pixelmator. It's only a matter of time before that erosion eliminates their market.

Worse, Adobe's decision is having serious fallout for other communities like the photographer community that historically always used Photoshop for their touch-up work because it integrated well with Lightroom. Even though they haven't been stupid enough to make LR cloud-only, there are a lot of folks who are very unhappy with the current state of affairs.

And I suspect that Adobe doesn't really care. If you buy a copy of Photoshop once every 4 - 5 years, you're not sending Adobe much love. So they don't send much back. If this works for the bigger shops / better customers than it's a win. Remember, if you don't sell to the hoi polli, you don't have to support the hoi polli.

I suspect that within two or three years, one of two things will happen: Adobe will back-pedal on the whole rental-only model or Pixelmator and Corel Paint will get significantly improved, fully native DNG support and photographers will dump Photoshop en masse, and along with it, quite possibly Lightroom.

Which will be fine, if they do it. I'm afraid that Corel and Pixelmator just don't have the ability to lift their products to near PS status. For a lot of people, what they have may well be good enough and they certainly will attempt to take advantage of the situation. But to displace PS, I think not. We shall, however, see.

Re:Adobe lost my upgrade Dollars (1)

dgatwood (11270) | 1 year,9 days | (#44660625)

And I suspect that Adobe doesn't really care. If you buy a copy of Photoshop once every 4 - 5 years, you're not sending Adobe much love. So they don't send much back. If this works for the bigger shops / better customers than it's a win. Remember, if you don't sell to the hoi polli, you don't have to support the hoi polli.

The problem is, those bigger shops hire contractors who are suddenly not running an old copy of Photoshop, but instead running some competitor's products. The more this happens, the more their core business erodes as those companies say, "Hey, if they can get by with X, so can we," and one day, Adobe's CEO wakes up and realizes that nobody is forking over $240 per year for Photoshop anymore.

On the plus side, the term will always remain "shopped", because "mated" sounds very wrong. Perhaps in a couple of decades, Adobe can turn their trademark lawsuit team into a cost center.

I'm afraid that Corel and Pixelmator just don't have the ability to lift their products to near PS status.

Not sure about Corel. From my experimentation so far, I'm pretty impressed at how well Pixelmator is doing with Photoshop file format compatibility. They don't have some of the text layout stuff (per-character positioning, IIRC) working yet, but they just got CMYK, and I wouldn't be surprised to see 16-bit-per-channel support in the not-too-distant future. I suspect that in the long run, they will actually have a sizable advantage because they aren't dealing with a nearly thirty-year-old codebase like Adobe is.

Re:Adobe lost my upgrade Dollars (1)

BLToday (1777712) | 1 year,9 days | (#44660743)

I've been using Pixelmator a lot more, I also have CS5 installed. Can't argue with Pixelmator's $15 cost. Does about 90% of everything I use on Photoshop. As for a LR replacement, you can try using Raw Photo Processor. It's more difficult to use, but lots of controls.

Re:Adobe lost my upgrade Dollars (1)

mr_null (16516) | 1 year,9 days | (#44661309)

Worse, Adobe's decision is having serious fallout for other communities like the photographer community that historically always used Photoshop for their touch-up work because it integrated well with Lightroom. Even though they haven't been stupid enough to make LR cloud-only, there are a lot of folks who are very unhappy with the current state of affairs.

Yep. I'll be sticking with LR4 and CS6 until they no longer meet my needs, then I'll be re-evaluating other offerings. They can say they won't switch LR to a subscription based model, but after having CS pulled out from under me like that, I'm not going to take the chance.

Re:Adobe lost my upgrade Dollars (1)

dgatwood (11270) | 1 year,9 days | (#44661979)

I tend to agree. I think the best thing that could happen to Adobe would be getting bought by somebody. Anybody. Except Autodesk. That would suck slightly worse than the current situation... but not much.

Competition (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | 1 year,9 days | (#44659919)

And no, GIMP is not competition (and I have been using that, since the late-90s).

The fact that I use it instead of Photoshop shows it is. I suspect that as Photoshop start moving more and more to the cloud and users have to pay a subscription, more people will suddenly find Gimp very competitive.

Re:Competition (1)

asm2750 (1124425) | 1 year,9 days | (#44660189)

And no, GIMP is not competition (and I have been using that, since the late-90s).

The fact that I use it instead of Photoshop shows it is. I suspect that as Photoshop start moving more and more to the cloud and users have to pay a subscription, more people will suddenly find Gimp very competitive.

I would rather rent Photoshop than ever use GIMP again.

Re:Competition (1)

JackAxe (689361) | 1 year,9 days | (#44660563)

I'd go back to using Photoshop CS2 full time -- which is free -- than rent Photoshop or use GIMP again. I use CS2 on my PC since my newer license of Photoshop is only for my Mac. There really is nothing I can't do in CS2 that I can do in CS6 on my Mac -- I've been using Photoshop since version 2, so the memory limitation of CS2 doesn't hinder me.

Re:Competition (1)

Y-Crate (540566) | 1 year,9 days | (#44660803)

And no, GIMP is not competition (and I have been using that, since the late-90s).

The fact that I use it instead of Photoshop shows it is. I suspect that as Photoshop start moving more and more to the cloud and users have to pay a subscription, more people will suddenly find Gimp very competitive.

I've never seen GIMP used in a production environment. It's just not really there yet.

(Disclaimer: I've worked for a fair number of TV networks and on several features you've probably seen.)

Cinepaint (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | 1 year,9 days | (#44660919)

I suspect Gimp is used much more today, but even 10 years ago Gimp Forks was used in the Media Industry (Diclaimer I have heard of these :)

Elf (2003)
Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003)
League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003)
Duplex (2003)
The Last Samurai (2003)
Showtime (2002)
Blue Crush (2002)
2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)
The Harry Potter series
Cats & Dogs (2001)
Dr. Dolittle 2 (2001)
Little Nicky (2000)
The Grinch (2000)
The 6th Day (2000)
Stuart Little (1999)
Planet of the Apes (2001)
Stuart Little 2 (2002)
Spider-Man (2002)
Scooby-Doo (2002)
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (2001)
The Last Samurai (2003)
Stuart Little (1999)

Re:Cinepaint (2)

ulricr (2486278) | 1 year,9 days | (#44661849)

None of these has used cinepaint exclusivly. these productions used a hundred time more photoshop and roto tools than cinepaint. they also used Notepad, it doesn't mean that notepad is an awesome production tool. any crap gets used on production where there are hundreds of people and a dozen vfx companies involved. it's meaningless but the cinepaint people do love to hang on to the illusion. All of this only occured because of one programmer at Rhythm & Hues. Cinepaint was dump HARD quickly after.

Re:Adobe lost my upgrade Dollars (1)

jmw123 (2866773) | 1 year,9 days | (#44661543)

I use five Adobe CS apps daily - Audition, Premiere Pro, Photoshop, Illustrator and Acrobat Pro. The Creative Cloud model is actually considerably less expensive than keeping those up to date. I'd fallen into updating them every 2nd or 3rd release owing to the expense. Now they're updated frequently -and- I have sampled some other apps that I'd never have purchased because of infrequent need. It remains to be seen if Adobe can resist increasing the price for a subscription every year the way my ISP and cellphone carrier do...(while adding no value).

Re:Adobe lost my upgrade Dollars (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44661795)

Sorry, but GIMP is the sole task performed for my 6-figure salary.

Protip: A rock-star artist(I am not one, but I do well) does not need a $5000 paintbrush to create a masterpiece. The software is like the brush, without the skills to use it what is the point? I prefer GIMP to PS because it's so extensible. Writing plug-ins is 110% easier when you can view and understand the source code that will be utilizing your plug-ins. I realize not all artists care to learn GTK or C - that's great - it creates contrast between the 5 figure one trick ponies and myself.

Re:Adobe lost my upgrade Dollars (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44663985)

I have a feeling that your 6 figure salary is in Zimbabwe Dollars given how you are proudly bragging about that

So, you have disks full of docs, drawings, etc. (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | 1 year,10 days | (#44659613)

Waddya gonna do when the company goes belly up? You'd better take screen shots while you can...

Autodesk is as bad as they get (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#44659697)

The small civil engineering company I work for has a subscription for two network seats of AutoCAD. Major gripes include:

1) The network license software looks like it was made in the 1990s (FlexIM, not sure if anyone is familiar with it)

2) There is literally no discerable difference between versions of AutoCAD, except for
- The name (eg AutoCAD 2014 vs 2013)
- The icons (which IMHO have been getting uglier since ACAD 2012)
- The default file save format (even though all recent versions prompt to save-as 'AutoCAD v 2010 or later' by default, if you try to open something save in 2014 in 2013, you're SOL)

Although sages tell me there are new features each year, no one I know has ever used them let alone needed them. So, for our purposes, new versions of Acad are basically a problem, because the file-format versioning nonsense forces everyone to upgrade if one person upgrades (upgrading, btw, takes probably an hour out of your day, and forces petty BOFHs like myself to dick around with the FlexIM network licensing).

All this is a long way of saying: you're better off getting a new version of autocad every five years, at most. It's a product that was completed years ago and is firmly into the Acrobat-like 'milking the customer for flashy useless features' phase.

Re:Autodesk is as bad as they get (5, Informative)

sjames (1099) | 1 year,10 days | (#44659779)

You'll be thrilled to know that the licensing software WAS made in the '90s and hasn't really changed much. I'm all too familiar with it.

Re:Autodesk is as bad as they get (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44660023)

You'll be thrilled to know that the (2D) software ITSELF WAS made in the '90s and hasn't really changed much. I'm all too familiar with it :-)

And so, after that smart move, they just have to release some parametric 3D software that doesn't suck as badly as Inventor and can finally measure up to the likes of Catia, Unigraphics or Pro/E, or even SolidWorks. THAT should make them relevant again...

Re:Autodesk is as bad as they get (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44660795)

Bah, there is even code in there from the 80s with original comments from the founder himself. Ask me how I know...

Re:Autodesk is as bad as they get (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44662139)

You'll be thrilled to know that the (2D) software ITSELF WAS made in the '90s and hasn't really changed much. I'm all too familiar with it :-)

Uh, No. The 2D software in question was made in the 1980's ... and still hasn't really changed much.

I used AutoCAD tiny-version-number back in 1987 and 1988 and just three months ago whn I helped a friend learn the latest version all the stuff I had used was still there and still worked the same way. Oh there's a GUI layered on top but all it does is construct the same old command-line commands after 25 freaking years.

Makes me wonder whatever happened to alternatives like CADkey.

Re:Autodesk is as bad as they get (3, Insightful)

temcat (873475) | 1 year,9 days | (#44662911)

Oh there's a GUI layered on top but all it does is construct the same old command-line commands after 25 freaking years.

But is that bad?

Re:Autodesk is as bad as they get (4, Funny)

dbIII (701233) | 1 year,9 days | (#44661203)

Flexlm works perfectly in this role and works this way:

If the rep rings up the company running the software, asks if they have any problems, and gets minutes of hate about licence software fucking up then the client is sticking to the licence and using the software honestly.
If the client answers "fine, no problems" then the client has worked around flexlm and could be ignoring whatever licence restrictions have been imposed on them.

Flexlm is there to punish the honest. I still have a machine running redhat7.2 to keep an old piece of shit version of flexlm running so that I still have a licence server for an old application that gets used every now and again. The actual application will run on the latest and greatest linux, but not flexlm. It's the same reason the serious stuff is still all on RHEL5 instead of 6 - the application is happy on the new platform but not flexlm. It's a time waster to punish the honest.

Re:Autodesk is as bad as they get (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#44659811)

The network license software looks like it was made in the 1990s (FlexIM, not sure if anyone is familiar with it)

We were using FlexLM in the 90s. It was always good fun when the FlexLM server crapped out, because it not only prevented our own software from running, it prevented us from running the compiler to recompile it to remove the FlexLM code.

Still got us a few days down the pub waiting for the experts to fix it.

Re:Autodesk is as bad as they get (1)

Captain Centropyge (1245886) | 1 year,9 days | (#44659981)

Firstly, if you don't see any use to updating each year, why bother? Then you can avoid the licensing hassles, while you're at it. The main benefit for being on subscription is the technical support from Autodesk. Though, I wonder how many people realize they get that benefit. For most people, there aren't many really useful updates to AutoCAD each release. I will agree that there aren't many new updates to AutoCAD worth mentioning in the past few releases of the program. They've focused on areas that the generic AutoCAD program really shouldn't be pushed into. Things like point clouds, 3D solids, etc. Use the right tool for the job. Don't make a generic system like AutoCAD, that was designed for 2D work, do something it isn't designed to do. And with a (mostly) 2D tool like AutoCAD, there's only so much you can continue to do to keep the product new and fresh each release.

To add to the other comment about LMTOOLS, this software is actually a customizable 3rd-party network licensing product that's adapted for product-specific licensing by many companies out there, not just Autodesk. I believe most players in the CAD market use it, including Dassault (which also includes SolidWorks), PTC (Pro/Engineer), and I think Siemens (UG NX). There are also a whole host of other companies that use it outside of the CAD realm. While it LOOKS like it was made in the 90's, it does still function. Why bother making something look awesome when it's rarely opened and sitting on a server somewhere?



I'll agree that FlexNet licensing can be a real PITA sometimes. I should know, having to deal with providing technical support for it on a regular basis. (See disclaimer below.) But that doesn't mean it isn't a decent product, especially since most of the time it works just fine. But since it's been in use for such a long time, I highly doubt that it will be replaced with something that looks better and makes things easier to set up and use anytime soon.

But also remember that Autodesk produces well over 100 different products for all kinds of uses, not just vanilla AutoCAD. Things like Inventor, Revit, 3DS Max, Maya, etc. are all using these licensing and subscription models. While LMTOOLS and subscription/leasing may not be ideal for all of their products, it may be what they feel is the best middle ground for everything, rather than coming up with different models for different products.

Disclaimer: I work for an Autodesk partner.

Re:Autodesk is as bad as they get (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44660161)

We probably won't continue the subscription next year.

As far as FlexLM, my problem is with usability during configuration. The look is fine (I'm a Windows Classic kind of guy), and once it's set up, it rarely has problems. But if anything goes wrong or if you need to update the license, it's unnecessarily difficult to use.

I guess I should have said: it looks like they stopped work on it in the 1990s.

Re:Autodesk is as bad as they get (1)

confused one (671304) | 1 year,9 days | (#44660409)

FlexLM is used for Cadence OrCAD and the Xilinx dev environment as well.

Re:Autodesk is as bad as they get (1)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | 1 year,9 days | (#44660953)

Yup. Feature development at autodesk has almost disappeared since they sent much of their software development overseas to asia. Softimage for example is an embarrassment the past two versions. I'm not sure it matters if Autodesk changes their pricing policy because there may be nothing of value to buy.

Its fine if its an option (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | 1 year,10 days | (#44659715)

There are situations where you only want the software for a couple months. And that might make the software price more reasonable to some buyers. But I suspect the big institutional buyers don't care either way so long as the net cost is about the same.

This has no impact on pirates... Lets be honest here, the pirates will crack the software in about 2 hours and release it.

The only way to really stop the piracy would be to offer the software as a cloud only service. But then the institutional buyers would see that as a deal breaker for various reasons. So they have to release software packages which can and will be cracked.

Its all much a do about nothing.

Re:Its fine if its an option (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | 1 year,9 days | (#44660415)

This sort of software isn't typically used for just a couple of months. It takes that long to just get past 'Hello World'.

Re:Its fine if its an option (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | 1 year,9 days | (#44660477)

companies will either find the price acceptable or use a competing product. And yes... competing products exist. And they will multiply in proportion to demand.

Options (1)

SrLnclt (870345) | 1 year,10 days | (#44659751)

Currently you can buy a version outright (say AutoCAD 2014 - you can use that version forever). Alternatively, you can get it on subscription (you pay 20% or 30% of the full cost, but pay it every year), which allows you to get the new version every year plus more support/features. Renting is simply the third option - the other two aren't going away. Their subscription model is a predictable cash cow at this point - there is no way they are giving that up.

Re:Options (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44660209)

Note that you have to buy the software outright before you can start a subscription.

Rhino3D may be a good option too. It works well for both 2D and 3D, licences can be used as a network licence at no extra cost, network licences can be "checked out" for use without a permanent network connection, it has very sensible upgrade options, even from very old versions, even without a licence it works great as a free viewer of almost every 3D file format, quick and competent direct e-mail support, it starts up much faster than autocad and isn't such a memory hog, works much faster than autocad for very large files, does not need manual "regenerate" when zooming in/out, 3D orbit does not cancel the current command, almost every operations works consistently on all object types, doing multiple operations with the same selection set is a breeze, etc. And all that at a fraction of the cost of autocad.

Family guy! HaaAaa!!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#44659843)

You know why so many Linux users like the family guy? Because the father's chin looks like a nutsack and Linux users love the idea of a men's nutsacks slapping off their chin.
 
FUCKING FAGGOTS!!!!

Re:Family guy! HaaAaa!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44660143)

Your comment is bad and you should feel bad.

I refuse (1)

kilodelta (843627) | 1 year,9 days | (#44659917)

To rent software. If it's installed on my computer it's mine to use when and where I see fit. But Autodesk as another problem - their software is too pricey to begin with. And a lot of their wares are pirated like crazy.

You fmail it. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44659957)

RAM) for about 20 conducted at MIT desPite the

AutoCAD and Revit compatibility (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44660119)

I work at a moderate sized structural engineering firm. We use both AutoCAD and Revit. AutoCAD updates their file format every few versions. For example, the AutoCAD file format was updated in 2000, 2004, 2007, and 2010. A new version of AutoCAD can always save down to an older format though, so as a firm you can get by without always updated AutoCAD as long as whoever you're collaborating with on drawings knows to save their drawings in a format you can open. There's also some free DWG version convert software out there that can help with collaboration between different versions.

Revit is a different story, though. There is no backwards compatibility. Once a project has been started in or upgraded to a new version of Revit, it is impossible to save it down to a format that can be opened in an older version of Revit. The result is that any firm that does any meaningful work in Revit HAS to upgrade every year, since if you don't, you can't collaborate with anyone who has upgraded. It also means that you usually have to have latest two, three, or even four versions of Revit installed on all your workstations, since if you have any construction projects that span over multiple years, you'll likely have to be able to open up files that all need a different version of Revit in order to maintain compatibility of those files with the various other firms you're collaborating with. Sometimes its a complete headache, and the only reason AutoDesk gets away with such poor functionality is near total lack of competition. The know they control the market for construction related BIM software, and they don't seem the least bit afraid to milk as much money out of that market as possible, even if it means ignoring features that would be extremely useful to users.

Big difference (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44660131)

You have to remember that Autodesk is that company that sold it's software with hardware dongles, because of piracy. Autodesk is one of those companies that buys up their competitors at a drop of a hat, so you can bet your ass that Autodesk will do everything they can to maximize their profit.

Likewise Adobe never had hardware dongles (AFAIK) and had huge amounts of piracy, and yet is still here.

The problem with the software rental model is that the software is no longer useable on laptop without 24/7 internet, much in the same why gamers were rightfully pissed off about the Xbox One requiring it.

I'm not sure what year these companies think it is, but mediocre internet access is not available everywhere. I'll demonstrate

Board the East-bound Empire Builder Amtrak in Seattle, all the way to Chicago. I had exactly one program that needlessly required 24/7 internet to operate (EA's "The Simpsons Tapped Out", also "offline" modes of various internet streaming radio programs like Spotify and Rdio) If you try to use any of these games while the connection is degraded to Edge, or "no service" the games simply sit there for up to 5 minutes before timing out. In order to play the game I had to wait until we were within one mile of any town. Except in Montana and North Dakota, where some stops had no data, and others only had 2G. Rdio on the other hand wouldn't start playing if it was stopped unless it had internet. This is because it stored the playlists... even for offline songs, online. It won't even start playing if it can't go online to check that you've subscribed.

So by extension, if I were to try and operate Adobe, Microsoft or Autodesk software that won't operate in offline-mode whatsoever, while on the train with no internet access, I'm out of luck. What if I were to go to a country with even worse internet access, like most of the countries in Africa?

The point is that subscription models can not be the only model. The perpetual licence is still required for parts of the world where the internet has been balkanized (eg China, various Arab countries) or where even our own ISP's fail to provide reasonable internet (most of the mid-west.) Don't even get me started on "cloud saves/storage", while I play the Simpsons Tapped out at home, it takes like 2 minutes to load, when I play it on a cell connection in North Dakota I'm lucky if it even loads, and it will usually sit there for 5 minutes at a time at the loading screen only to fail or "be logged out"

Autodesk is also forgetting about it's customers (4, Insightful)

BulletMagnet (600525) | 1 year,9 days | (#44660595)

I work for a Medium sized GC and we have the pleasure of using their Building Information Modeling (BIM) suite.

13K PER SEAT for the product (BDS Ultimate)
Crappy compatibility with previous versions (which are released yearly) - Everyone on the design and build teams basically all need to be on the same version.
Does not like running Side By Side older versions so it's not like you can plant them all together.
Holy Megabloat - Last year's installers came on Autodesk-monogramed 32GB USB3 sticks ... and the installer damn near filled UP the stick. This year, they decided that all of us Subscription having clients wanted to download 32GB - all to save the cost of sending media, even if we've historically requested media (That's what I pay for your cheap @#(*^(@&*^)
Frustrating at times - today I'm trying to install the 2014 version on a $6,000 Precision Workstation spec'd for Revit - I started at 10AM, it's still installing - very slowly, but moving along. Same on our M6700 workstations.

Not the least bit surprised that Autodesk software gets pirated ... they gouge the legitimate license holders outrageous fees for this stuff....I can't imaging how Ma & Pa Construction Company could afford this.

Re:Autodesk is also forgetting about it's customer (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44660809)

Are you doing network images for the BDS install? My Precisions can usually get through the install from a network image in about an hour. The USB media is dog slow for some reason. I tried building a network image off the USB stick - it was faster for me to copy the BDS installer off the stick to local disk and build a base image than it was to run the image builder from the stick.

Re:Autodesk is also forgetting about it's customer (1)

BulletMagnet (600525) | 1 year,9 days | (#44660991)

Are you doing network images for the BDS install? My Precisions can usually get through the install from a network image in about an hour. The USB media is dog slow for some reason. I tried building a network image off the USB stick - it was faster for me to copy the BDS installer off the stick to local disk and build a base image than it was to run the image builder from the stick.

We tried that too, AC - Installing from our 1Gb backbone network was bad - and copying the image locally seemed to take anywhere from 30-45 minutes plus the painful install time.

Still fighting with that install I started, what, 6 hours ago. It's made it through Showcase, almost.

I wonder if we do business ;)

Another gripe - must remember to strip off all your ANY runtimes if you need to install an older version, for the older versions (say if you have a project that requires say 2012) nothing like getting almost to the end and it starts its rollback and peering through the installer logs to find out that you have VC 2010 SP1 installed and it won't even talk to it - it wants unpatched VC 2010 to install ... or it fails.

THIS IS WHERE YOU FAIL, BASS!

Re:Autodesk is also forgetting about it's customer (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44663795)

Yeah Autodesk's installers have been getting progressively worse every year. Building the network image takes forever - I usually budget a week every year for building the new images. The local install, once the network image is built, seems to hover around an hour or so for BDS.. Oh - one of my users had a Dell OEM Windows 7 image with Skype preinstalled. The Skype preinstall apparently broke something very badly in the registry and I could not uninstall AutoCAD 2013. I ended having to reimage the whole system. Awesome.

One thing I will note is they finally have fixed that Express Tools randomly not installing properly issue even though you built the network image with Express Tools set to install. Only took 12 years...

One thing to look at - in the install logs I have noticed that sometimes it just waits around for certain operations to time out and usually it is related to their service packs.

Autodesk can go anf f*ck themselves (1)

Mister Liberty (769145) | 1 year,9 days | (#44660633)

It hasn't been 22 years since I was troubled by the fact that I didn't
have the dough to please Autodesk (TM).
So autodesk went out of my frame of thought. Note the small 'a'.

fuck (1)

Redmancometh (2676319) | 1 year,9 days | (#44660677)

Isn't a seat with solidworks esprit and logopress expensive enough already.

If they call just show them the door (1)

dbIII (701233) | 1 year,9 days | (#44661105)

Buy one thing from them now and expect threats of audits ten years later. They never managed to improve their software from the cheap CAD stuff that you only needed a PC for they just managed to squeeze out the competition for a while. Now there is plenty of competition so their stuff that has progressed little since the mid 1990s apart from GUI changes is no longer worth considering.

Autodesk... (1)

Dereck1701 (1922824) | 1 year,9 days | (#44661149)

AutoCAD has been going downhill for years, we used to use it pretty heavily. But they have been actually degrading the product with each release. We've been sticking to AutoCAD Map3D 2006 as much as possible because it has more capabilities than any of the subsequent versions that we've come across.

Re:Autodesk... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44665259)

Jeeze why does software have to do this. It starts out good and goes downhill. Then someone else comes along builds from the ground up and overtakes the competition then THEY get bloated and go downhill. A good example is browsers.

Those who forget the past... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44661377)

People actually still use AC? I'd rather pick-up a pen or pencil and do it by hand. Whenever a vendor or supplier ask's for a part to be converted into AC file format (they always ask that we do it, sigh), I automatically downgrade their abilities in my head. I imagine if I go to their shop that they'll be running it on a PIII with Windows ME. Besides, any program(s) that I can type in a command that I learned in 1987 is really advanced.

Evolution? More like De-evolution. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44662919)

Renting software means they screw over the average consumer, while sucking the blood of coporations that depend on them.

more bills in the mailbox (1)

smithcl8 (738234) | 1 year,9 days | (#44662925)

From a business perspective, I don't see how this is a huge deal. Most software companies charge an up front fee plus a subscription if you want to keep current. I realize it isn't the exact same model, but companies are still paying out the ears for "support" and upgrades down the road. The only beneficiaries of this are the software company and the fact that the IT crowd doesn't have to go begging for a big check every 4-5 years for the latest and greatest version. (Accounting is much nicer about smaller, annual checks for some darned reason.) For a home user, though, this stinks. Imagine a world where every company "rented" their software. You'd have bills coming in just for the right to use your computer! Not me.

What is old is new (1)

nurb432 (527695) | 1 year,9 days | (#44663443)

This old model will slowly come back. Since software these days does everything you want, why buy upgrades? Going to get worse as things move towards cloud hosting and not local installs.

So often 'new features' are just rehash of old features or just marketing.

They have to keep the cash cow going somehow.

They see the light at the end of the tunnel (1)

Stan92057 (737634) | 1 year,9 days | (#44664379)

They see the light at the end of the tunnel meaning not must more can be added with todays Technology and they have stretched out the so called "New Version" as much as the market will bare. We are under no obligation to keep them in business by renting software which will mean it will be run from some server somewhere on a computer running more copy's of the software then it should and also copy everything made for the NSA or whatever government department that needs free graphics or free graphic software. Do i sound cynical? Ive seen this coming ages ago the cloud was the first step second step rent cloud software. Problem they are untrustable wither its spying for the NSA or Spying to give you some advertisements along with your rented copy of whatever.

They were not counting on them getting caught spying for the NSA and anyone saying that the so called cloud can be trusted has been brainwashed or payed to say its safe or loose a ton of money when people really start getting a clue :}
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