People don’t think too much about the difference between subscription and perpetual before 2015 when Autodesk announced they’d go subscription-only. Autodesk may not be the first software company to implement the subscription licensing approach, but it’s among one of the most successful ones without much doubt with its unrivaled leading position in the industry.
The subscription fees is actually a big deal for many small business owner and freelances, so having some knowledge about subscription and perpetual and their pros and cons is by no means unnecessary.
What is perpetual licensing?
Perpetual license is a traditional way that we buy software, we pay for our software and we own the software. You can pay for upgrades to receive new features and functionality, but if you don’t want to upgrade and choose not to pay for the upgrades, it’s fine, you won’t get an upgrade but you can still use the software.
Subscription licensing allows users to pay a monthly or annual fee and they can use the software only during the subscription term, which means you don’t actually own the software, you rent it for a period of time and after that time, the software just stops working if you don’t renew your subscription.
Pros and cons of Perpetual and Subscription: Why Subscription licensing?
• stay up-to-date. With subscription licensing, you’ll always have the latest version with new features and functionality.
• Flexibility. You can choose to discontinue or renew the software when the time is up. If you only need the software for a period of time or foreseeable days, then subscription licensing sounds like a good idea for you, since it will cut down on costs.
Why perpetual licensing?
• Long-term benefits. We’ve mentioned that for subscription cuts costs for short-term users. But if you are a professional designer or draftsmen that use it a lot, like for years. Then perpetual sounds very cost-effective to you.
• No mandatory upgrade. Whether you like it or not, subscription licensing keeps your software up-to-date. But with perpetual licensing, you have the right to upgrade and choose when to upgrade. Sometimes the software just don’t get significant upgrades, so why bother with those insignificant features with our hard-earned money.
As you can from the pros and cons of each licensing method, it really depends on what you do with your CAD, how often and how long will you use the software, and your budget.