Monday Autodesk began a new way to sell AutoCAD, through a 12-month license. I'll leave it for for you to figure out the financials -- to figure out if this is a better deal than buying a $3995 perpetual license + $450 subscription or license + occasional $1998 upgrade + or just a perpetual license. Or buy a varient of IntelliCAD for $450.
Some of the rules:
- No subscription benefits; seems odd to me.
- No prorating, no pausing.
- Fixed at 12-month durations; 1-month increments might make this program more popular.
- No upgrades or crossgrades; Autodesk allows LT users sometimes to upgrade for $2000, so why not from these licenses?
- No network deployments; too tough to track?
- Applies to AutoCAD 2009 and 2010, but this may change in the future.
- Limited to customers in USA.
In all other aspects, this is regular AutoCAD, but with a 12-month timebomb. Once the 12 months are over, you might be able to re-license for another 12 months, "pending availability."
Will this offer work? Other CAD vendors over the years have announced "software rentals," as this is sometimes called, but I have a feeling that none of them worked out, and I think that the offers were subsequently pulled.
Autodesk sees this as a way to solve the problem where short-term seats are needed for specific projects. Perhaps this offer was tailored to economic stimulus projects planned in the United States. Ironically, this software rental is not permitted for government accounts, perhaps because sales are up in that area, as an Autodesk PR person yesterday tweeted.