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While I can see that there are reasons for some companies wanting to use subscription only licensing, I struggle to believe that this move was driven by customer demand. A few years ago, people were debating the fact that perpetual licences were in most cases sold with an accompanying subscription - although at that time, you could jump off the subscription train at any time and continue to use the last version of the software that you had been sent through the subscription. A few years prior to that, people were debating the forced obiting of software after 4 releases. (preventing any further upgrades to old copies) AD claimed that this is what they had always done, neglecting the fact that releases used to be 3 or more years apart rather than annual. It was clear that this was one of many attempts trying to push customers onto the subscription train. Crossgrades are another technique that have been used to push lapsed subscriptions onto products higher up the cost tree for those with lapsed subscriptions - VARs were happy to upgrade your long out of subscription copy of AutoCAD to a copy of BDS Premium (with a subscription agreement) , but not to a newer copy of AutoCAD. This is not to say there are no benefits to subscriptions - in the past we have wanted to set up project offices for 1 or 2 years, where we would be taking on say 20 staff for a set duration. The only purchase options for software for that period never worked out cheaper than outright purchase, but then at the end of the period, you are left either maintaining the software that you are not using (in case your team grows again), or at best, with a load of expensive software that you no longer require. The company where I worked cancelled all subscriptions in the 2009 financial crisis when they downsized massively. I imagine many other firms in the UK did the same. Why can't we have subscriptions and perpetual licences? Different people need different things from their software. They could even get the two models sold by different teams, to make them competitive against one another - so that either seems an attractive option, rather than artificially killing off other options by making the alternatives appear less palatable.
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Aug 15, 2016