Autodesk has an unusual pricing scheme for its PLM 360 product lifecycle management system: the first three professional users at a site get to access the cloud-based system free, and then each additional one pays $900 a year.
Software researcher Jay Vleeschhouwer of Griffin Securities may have figured out why precisely the first three are free:
Autodesk’s main competitor in the mechanical CAD market, Dassault’s SolidWorks, has an average of three licenses per customer and, as [DS] management itself has noted, the majority of SolidWorks’ customers do not yet have a [PLM] data management system...
Now, why would an office with three SolidWorks users want PLM from Autodesk? Beats me. OTOH, Mr Vleeschhouwer notes that there are 8x as many PTC Windchill PLM licenses as Creo Pro [Pro/Engineer] ones, although he is not sure if this means that there are lots of non-CAD users or lots non-Pro/E CAD users using Windchill.
300,000 or 1.6 million?
In his report, Mr Vleeschhouwer estimates that SolidWorks has 300,000 active [commercial] licenses at the end of 2011, a number vastly smaller than the 1.8 million [commercial + educational] licenses touted last week in front of invited media, but still ahead of Inventor's estimated 210,000 active users.