Autodesk Licensing Changes – What You Need to Know

March 12, 2015
Editorial Staff


Editorial Staff

Following the industry trend of transitioning from on-premise perpetual licensing models to subscription-only cloud based models, Autodesk has announced that as of February 1, 2016, most standalone products will no longer be available via the perpetual license model.

How is Autodesk changing its licensing?

In place of the perpetual model for standalone products, Autodesk has created the Desktop Subscription, or term-based licensing model, which will be available in annual or quarterly subscription terms. Note the continued emphasis on standalone products; purchasing perpetual licenses on Autodesk Suites such as Autodesk Design & Creation Suites will continue to be offered beyond February 1, 2016.

This shift from software “ownership” in perpetual licensing to a subscription-based model enables Autodesk to continually innovate and improve its Desktop Subscription products by tightly integrating them with cloud services. This change does not affect separately purchased Cloud Service Subscription offerings.

Will this affect Maintenance Subscription customers?

Customers with current Maintenance Subscription contracts after February 1, 2016 will retain the option to renew Maintenance Subscription for the affected products. This change only affects the purchasing of new perpetual products.

So Desktop Subscription is the new licensing model going forward. Give me some more details!

Desktop Subscription follows the flexible, pay-as-you-go model commonly found with many software-as-a-service subscriptions. Some of the key features and benefits of Desktop Subscription include:

  • Basic Support
  • Access to the latest software and product enhancements
  • Access to select cloud services while maintaining user data stored on the local machine

A new Autodesk Account portal will also be released to help customers more efficiently manage both perpetual and subscription licenses.

Should I transition to the Desktop Subscription model immediately?

Well that depends: The Desktop Subscription “named user” model aligns customers to a licensing policy that is both easy to deploy and manage; however, many of these same customers will be slow to adopt this change due to the high level of investment currently in perpetual Autodesk licenses. Add in the fact that maintenance subscription will continue to be offered on perpetual seats with no apparent end to this offering, and you can quickly see that there is not sufficient financial motivation for an aggressive acceptance of this new licensing offering.

However, Autodesk has implemented some measures to ensure the transition is as smooth as possible for loyal customers:

  • A full year of advance notice to outline your transition strategy
  • Allow Maintenance Subscribers to continue their Maintenance Subscription renewals
  • Make Autodesk Account the one place to manage all of your products, subscriptions, and services
  • Continue to offer Autodesk Suites as a perpetual license

For answers to additional questions regarding this change to the Autodesk licensing model, click the banner below to contact your SoftwareONE Autodesk licensing expert.

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