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Sep 14, 2012

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Bill Fane

It would be interesting to know how many actual, active commercial users there are for any particular program as opposed to how many commercial + educational serial numbers have been sold since the beginning of time. I was at the SolidWorks media event and got the impression that 1.6 million was the latter case.
How about if software contained a litte bit of code that say once every 3 months logged into an "active user" site and said "Hi!" It could be done totally anonymously through a blind token rather than the actual serial number. This would give a true count of actual users.

Ralph Grabowski

The checking of active licenses occurs to a limited extent already. For instance, DraftSight from Dassault Systemes requires you to re-register every year.

I suspect Autodesk could give us real numbers, because its AutoCAD software phones home every time we start it up. Perhaps Autodesk stopped handing out seat counts when they realized that the real number was embarrassingly smaller of the all-time-serial-numbers-ever-issued number.

Hence Mr Vleeschhouwer's estimate of just 300,000 active commercial licenses (at the end of 2011) versus the 1.8-million number Dassault Systemes trumpets (albeit as of mid-2012).

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