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Sep 28, 2009


Roopinder Tara

I'm guessing that "start" means first use of the software, as then the software might go online to register and PTC would be aware of it. If so, that's better than number of downloads, which may never lead to installs.

Al Dean

it took me two hours to work out what the hell the 'start' meant. but then it clicked. It's the 1,000,000th user to start up the CoCreate Modeller PE software...

not entirely clear is it?

Curt Moreno

I would imagine that the "start" is a candid reference to registration and activation of the software. Like most corporations offering free applications PTC most likely tracks conversions by activation rather than download. Whereas corporations like Autodesk and Bentley track conversions simply by sales.

What I found interesting was how difficult it was to find the CoCreate Personal Edition page (http://www.ptc.com/offers/tryout/pe2.htm). Even the link in the press release was broken and there was no mention of it on the site map. Finally I resorted to a performing a Google search.

If they make it this hard to find out the software even exists it's a wonder they ever reached 1 million activations.

- Curt Moreno -

Bill Fane

I think that the hard part here is defining "user", and I don't think there ever will be an accurate measure.

At one end of the scale you have companies that count every serial number ever issued, whether it's commercial, education, or demo/evaluation/media.

At a recent media event, a newcomer to the "million users" club admitted that this number was about 1/3 commercial and 2/3 educational.

Some companies count downloads/activations. I have downloaded and activated several "freebie" programs and used them for a week or so in order to write a magazine review and then never again. Am I still in their "user" count? Probably, because they don't know, or don't want to know, that I am no longer using it.

At the other end of the range, some people claim that a more accurate figure would be derived from the total of subscription renewals plus upgrades of commercial licenses only; no education, no media copies, etc. Presumably they are actively continuing to use it if they bother to renew/upgrade. There are two problems with this count, of course. First, your figures are a year or a release behind, and many users will continue to actively run an older release. Some companies have a policy of only buying every other new release.

And what of shared copies? A company might have 20 network licenses shared by 40 or more users. How do you count them?

...and what of pirated copies? A couple of years ago I paid the equivalent of about $1.18 (that's right: one dollar and eighteen cents) for a DVD that contained "cracked" copies of every AutoCAD release from 2000 through to 2008. This was about 3 weeks after 2008 first shipped.

Sir Winston Churchill once said that there are lies, there are damned lies, and there are statistics.


As Al pointed out above, if CoCreate personal edition pings a website for every session, then this start might mean that CoCreate Modelling Personal edition has been started a million times by now.

If it does not ping back for EVERY session, then this might be the registration stat that RTARA and CURT have mentioned above.

The next stat that can be touted will be the number of models that have been created using a particular software...


Al is right. CoCreate PE requires an internet connection to work and "phones home" to PTC every time you start it (well, you can run it offline for up to 72 hours since the last on-line use). So PTC is measuring use of CoCreate PE, which I guess tells something, since a lot of people download free stuff but never use it much (e.g. I've downloaded SketchUp, but have only started it once).

I've found CoCreate PE to be one of the more useful free MCAD programs; for one, it makes a great STEP & IGES viewer with full measurement capabilities. And when you can't extrude a DXF/DWG sketch, at least it shows you what it's complaining about, unlike Alibre.


I'm guessing that "start" has the has the same meaning as "eyeball" used in the dotcom economy.

It implies revenue while measuring mild interest.


Wow, if the program crashes often at all, that could inflate the number of "stats"!

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