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Why Autodesk’s upcoming licensing changes make Subscription a really smart choice

Client Computing | Posted on March 13, 2014 by Robyn Eddison

Autodesk has announced to Softchoice that a major change is coming which will affect how clients acquire and maintain its software.

As of February 1, 2015, clients will no longer have the option to purchase an “upgrade SKU” for out-of-date software titles. Instead, clients will have two choices: Paying the full price to get the most recent version, or opting for Subscription. Autodesk is making this policy change to better align with the needs and buying preferences of customers choosing to use Subscription as a preferred method of maintaining Autodesk’s software.

In our team’s opinion, even if you aren’t refreshing your Autodesk software every year, choosing Subscription offers you significant savings. For example, if you only refresh once after three years, you’d still save over $650 with Subscription. Here’s how this works.

Rates Table Sample

*The chart data outlines current pricing models and is based on the historical trend of Autodesk releasing a new version every year. Pricing models may be subject to change

Total savings with Subscription: $660 (28%)

In a Q&A document about the licensing changes prepared by Autodesk, the change reflects the growing trend of their client base turning to Subscription. It’s also intended to simplify their offerings and help evolve their business as times change.

In line with those evolving times, Subscription has a number of additional benefits. Not only do you ensure you have the latest software, but you also get access to special cloud services, online technical support and flexible licensing options. To determine which license type is right for you (perpetual or subscription) see here.

Here are just a few examples of the most common questions our clients are asking:

1. Does this mean that Autodesk is completely changing its licensing model to rental plans only?
No, not at this time. Although Autodesk does offer its software through a rental plan or software-as-a-service model, that is different than Subscription. Customers can continue to buy perpetual licenses, giving them the rights to use that specific version of the software indefinitely. However, as of February 1, 2015 if customers are not also enrolled in the Subscription program, and would like to upgrade to the newest version of the software, there will no longer be a discounted upgrade path. Customers will need to buy the newest version of the software at the full price.

2. What does this mean for customers who previously purchased perpetual licenses?
Customers who have purchased a perpetual license will be able to continue using that version of the software indefinitely, but will not be able to purchase an upgrade at a discounted price.

3. Which customers will be affected by this change in our upgrade policy?
The upgrade policy change will affect all customers, both direct customers and non-direct customers, who purchase software without Autodesk Subscription. Beginning February 1, 2015, customers without Autodesk Subscription will no longer be able to benefit from an upgrade price to get current.

4. Does the upgrade change affect Autodesk Subscription customers? 

No, this upgrade policy change does not affect software licenses with a valid Autodesk Subscription. Autodesk Subscription customers will continue to receive software upgrades as long as they continue to renew their Subscription.

5. If I have perpetual license not currently on Subscription, can I add Subscription now?
Depending on the version you own, you may be eligible to upgrade to the current version and get on Subscription. Softchoice can help you get organized.

You can also view the following Q&A document for more info.

To learn about current promotions to help get you started on Subscription, visit the Autodesk brand store.

If you still have questions, or would like to get started on Subscription, or learn more about call your Account Manager at 1-800-268-7638 or email

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