I am glad to see CAD customers starting to speak out against annual upgrades forced on them by software companies.
A survey taken by CADalyst magazine shows that the majority of users prefer a timeframe of 2-4 years for upgrading CAD software. "Given an annual software release cycle, most readers told us they prefer to make an actual upgrade every three releases," writes editor Sara Ferris.
And it's not just the users who dislike the CAD vendor's passion for the annual pruning of customer's wallets. Book publisher hate the annual cycle, because it means the expense of producing new books is spread over a mere 12 months, instead of 18, 24, or longer.
Every chance I get, I tell CAD executives that users and book publishers don't like the annual release cycle. They just smile and say something along the lines of, "You should be seeing this as a new opportunity."
How is shifting higher costs onto customers and book publishers a new opportunity? Maybe the animosity reflected by surveys, like the one published by CADalyst, will one day penetrate the consciousness of CAD executives. "As one [user] put it, his job is to use AutoCAD, not learn it."
(Tthat's part of the Master Plan, too: force customers to spend more on training fees.)
Ms Ferris goes on to detail the ever-higher fees that Autodesk is charging those on annual subscription. "Many companies are paying for upgrades they'll never implement."
As software becomes more complex, the frequent release cycle will become increasingly more difficult to maintain, as Microsoft has find out -- or the software that does ship will increasingly be of poor quality.