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Thread: Autodesk Details Subscription Transition for New Software Licenses

  1. #91
    Another factor to consider is that there is a distinction I think between a technological dominance in the software market to an overall dominance in the software market. The days when software companies had complete dominance in the market are long gone.

    I know this is going to fly in the face of what a lot of people think, but I think all of this rental business is in response to a growing OSS market. Google that if you want to research it.

    So I predict if everyone does ever go all rental you can have OSS to blame which is a bit ironic. And since there is no sign of decline of development and use of OSS, and the recognition of it as a business model, I see it as inevitable. The only way the old school software companies can compete in this market is to offer rental. And when that starts to make more sense, or likely, when it seems like they will have to force the hand to keep a position in the market, then they will turn to rental only. I see what Adobe did as not only premature but borne out of panic and fear. Definitely not dominance overall in the market. It was bold to be sure. But inevitable. The reason other companies are going in this direction I believe is because they have market people doing the numbers. I seriously doubt they'd ever come out and admit this publicly. So we may never really know for sure.

    But if you want to know what I am referring to, please research it for yourself. And do the numbers. The average price of software over the last 10-20 years and also the growth of OSS Software. And no, it does not matter at all if none of the large studios use Blender. And all pro graphics people will not turn to Gimp and Inkscape. They don't have to. The number of users overall of OSS is enough. Compare that to a time when everyone had to buy (or steel) software someplace to use it and you get a clear picture of what is happening I think.

    Maya may dominate technically for some time to come. But software companies will never entirely dominate the entire market like they had prior to 10 years ago.
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  2. #92
    Sorry for the late reply.....


    Quote Originally Posted by Surrealist. View Post
    I think it is working out just fine. People who can get buy on cheap alternatives, do. Those that can't don't. I think it is a small minority of people who could for example use Blender, but who stick with something like Maya, just because. Not that these people don't exist. I am sure they do. But they are a minority, if in fact they actually could use Blender and not Maya without sacrificing vital tools.
    My personal experience does show it the other way round, yes there is a certain interrest in learning it, but not enough to actually invest significant time in it. And no I'm not blaming "the interface" for it, but more that people are less willing to leave their comfort zone when trying to get used to blender. Not sure why.


    Quote Originally Posted by Surrealist. View Post
    I think these things work themselves out. And it does affect the market. If there was no Blender - try to imagine this for a second - then what incentive would there be to offer a Maya LT for instance or a Modo indie? Think about it. These things do not come about because companies out of the goodness of their heart see that some people are struggling. On the contrary, they see that these people are not buying software but using something free. The response? Drop the price and try to entice that market to a "better" toolset.
    Might be, might be also that once one started they other, in fear of loosing market shares, did the same. Not really sure on this move. (And honestly I don't think its actually a wise one).



    Quote Originally Posted by Surrealist. View Post
    Another factor to consider is that there is a distinction I think between a technological dominance in the software market to an overall dominance in the software market. The days when software companies had complete dominance in the market are long gone.
    Agree.

    Quote Originally Posted by Surrealist. View Post
    So I predict if everyone does ever go all rental you can have OSS to blame which is a bit ironic. And since there is no sign of decline of development and use of OSS, and the recognition of it as a business model, I see it as inevitable. The only way the old school software companies can compete in this market is to offer rental.
    Rental is the try to ultimatively bind existing customers to their product. But whats the use of such an incentive when the alternative is actually free ? In fact you do OSS a favor in pushing them in search for alternatives....no, I do think the reason they go rental is the simple fact that a significant amount of their current userbase simply does not upgrade. They are satisfied with their current investment. To get them again back on track without disturbing their current (restrictive) maintenance path, they needed something new: Voila subscription...comming with a faq wich reads "we don't want to disturb our current market" all over it. Now people on old versions do not have to relicense their software for an insane amount of money (or look for alternatives). And I do think this strategy will work out in favor of them.


    Quote Originally Posted by Surrealist. View Post
    But if you want to know what I am referring to, please research it for yourself. And do the numbers. The average price of software over the last 10-20 years and also the growth of OSS Software. And no, it does not matter at all if none of the large studios use Blender. And all pro graphics people will not turn to Gimp and Inkscape. They don't have to. The number of users overall of OSS is enough. Compare that to a time when everyone had to buy (or steel) software someplace to use it and you get a clear picture of what is happening I think.
    Agree. Although I still think you are 5 years ahead of what the general 3D public thinks.

  3. #93
    World's Tallest Dwarf safetyman's Avatar
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    Rental may be the way these companies are heading, but it puts a certain segment of their users out of the picture. If you only use the software occasionally to get certain jobs done, it doesn't make sense to bite that bullet. If you're a hobbyist, it's hard to justify the monthly cost. It would seem that this will push the less-than-hardcore folks to use other tools, whether it's LW, Blender, Modo, etc.

  4. #94
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    hmm I've never talked to someone who said they were a casual max or maya user. I guess there are a few.
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  5. #95
    Quote Originally Posted by tischbein3 View Post
    My personal experience does show it the other way round, yes there is a certain interrest in learning it, but not enough to actually invest significant time in it. And no I'm not blaming "the interface" for it, but more that people are less willing to leave their comfort zone when trying to get used to blender. Not sure why.
    Yes, you mean from a personal experience, I can understand. Like I was saying I think these people do exist. But you also have to ask yourself honestly would Blender give you all you needed and more without commercial software? (people not upgrading that is) And if the answer to that is yes, but for some other reason you stick with what you are using and spending money upgrading or even yearly subscription of AD products, I would say you are in a minority. The majority of people using those products could not depend on Blender. And that includes LightWave users.

    So what I am referring to generally is the fact that most people who use Blender and stick with it or come to it from other apps find it does all they need and more. I see this all the time over on the Blender forums. Yet another Maya user now switching to Blender. And the only reason I can fathom is he /she is an idiot, or they simply do not require all of the features Maya has to offer, and it makes no sense to them to keep paying money.

    It is the minority in this group, who pay anyway.

    The point being that there is this other market, made up largely of new people to Blender - because it is here and why not rather than pay money - and people who do a little bean counting and ditch Maya/3D Max/C4D.

    For both of these people, AD answers with Maya LT specifically targeting this crowd (though without mentioning Blender) In marketing.

    They have regurgitated the 90's "indie" moniker now and tagged it onto "Artist" and "Developer".

    Translated from focus group marketing speak ( and don't think for a moment that there are not focus groups on OSS software to study these people) is....

    All you people who we are loosing to OSS software we are targeting you now. We have to. We are loosing so much revenue to this market that it is worth it to pay a marketing firm or sick our marketing team on this problem.



    Quote Originally Posted by tischbein3 View Post
    Rental is the try to ultimatively bind existing customers to their product. But whats the use of such an incentive when the alternative is actually free ? In fact you do OSS a favor in pushing them in search for alternatives....no, I do think the reason they go rental is the simple fact that a significant amount of their current userbase simply does not upgrade. They are satisfied with their current investment. To get them again back on track without disturbing their current (restrictive) maintenance path, they needed something new: Voila subscription...comming with a faq wich reads "we don't want to disturb our current market" all over it. Now people on old versions do not have to relicense their software for an insane amount of money (or look for alternatives). And I do think this strategy will work out in favor of them.

    Yeah up til the other day I was musing on this I would have agreed. But something just did not make any sense. The main thing is that this reasoning, well it is based on something as old as software. Why then, what must have changed in the market to get them all up in a tizzy about getting these users back and as I have been saying not continuing to loose people?

    Rental is the alternative. And when you look at what they are saying. "making software easily accessible". That right there says it all. They are telling us without coming out and saying it that the reason they are doing this is to compete with something more accessible. What can be more accessible than free? Nothing of course. But rental is all they can come up with short of switching to an OSS business model where revenue is generated with ancillary services and products, rather than the software itself. This was the original concept behind Blender before it failed to deliver.

    I know people feel the way you do about this. And these things are also true. It does have those effects you say. But it is not why they are doing it. I think marketing did a good job coming up with these carefully-worded promotions. They are targeting the OSS crowd. There is really not much doubt in my mind about this now that I have given it some thought.

    There will come a time I am absolutely certain when we will look back at these days and say "remember when we had to pay hundreds and even thousands of dollars for software, just to get up and running?"

    Because in that time OSS will have exploded and also too many people would be unwilling to shell out large chunks of money upfront even if it means owning. I actually predict perpetual licenses will decline well before rental is a widespread reality.

    Anyways thanks for sharing those responses and more interesting thoughts.
    Last edited by Surrealist.; 02-15-2015 at 03:37 PM.

  6. #96
    Quote Originally Posted by Surrealist. View Post
    Another factor to consider is that there is a distinction I think between a technological dominance in the software market to an overall dominance in the software market. The days when software companies had complete dominance in the market are long gone.

    I know this is going to fly in the face of what a lot of people think, but I think all of this rental business is in response to a growing OSS market. Google that if you want to research it.

    So I predict if everyone does ever go all rental you can have OSS to blame which is a bit ironic. And since there is no sign of decline of development and use of OSS, and the recognition of it as a business model, I see it as inevitable. The only way the old school software companies can compete in this market is to offer rental. And when that starts to make more sense, or likely, when it seems like they will have to force the hand to keep a position in the market, then they will turn to rental only. I see what Adobe did as not only premature but borne out of panic and fear. Definitely not dominance overall in the market. It was bold to be sure. But inevitable. The reason other companies are going in this direction I believe is because they have market people doing the numbers. I seriously doubt they'd ever come out and admit this publicly. So we may never really know for sure.

    But if you want to know what I am referring to, please research it for yourself. And do the numbers. The average price of software over the last 10-20 years and also the growth of OSS Software. And no, it does not matter at all if none of the large studios use Blender. And all pro graphics people will not turn to Gimp and Inkscape. They don't have to. The number of users overall of OSS is enough. Compare that to a time when everyone had to buy (or steel) software someplace to use it and you get a clear picture of what is happening I think.

    Maya may dominate technically for some time to come. But software companies will never entirely dominate the entire market like they had prior to 10 years ago.
    don't just write OSS...what the frak does that stand for?
    you exclude people from the conversation by doing so....which isn't clever.

    so....

    Operational Support Systems?

    or....
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  7. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by cresshead View Post
    don't just write OSS...what the frak does that stand for?
    you exclude people from the conversation by doing so....which isn't clever.

    so....

    Operational Support Systems?

    or....
    Nah... he "obviously" mean Office of Scientific Studies.
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  8. #98
    lol sorry guys... the only reason I did that is because I have seen it done here so many times I figured you guys have read it as many times here as I have - here on this forum. I have also seen it on all of the other forums. I had to sort out what it meant and in context I figured then other people would/could too, or had already.

    Open Source Software.

    The hint was in the graphic I posted "Open Source is eating the Software World".

    If you Google "growth of open source software" or other strings you'll find that all kinds of statistics and studies exist.

    The main point I think I am making there is a lot of people have a dismissive attitude toward OSS. That it is a market not to be concerned about. That it will never have an impact on the professional software market. And large companies or NewTek need not worry about lowering themselves and catering to this market. All the people who write off Blender for example as "well it will never be accepted by the big boys so it is irrelevant to discussion". When in fact not only to I feel this is not so, clearly it is very obvious to me that the marketing reflects it is having a huge impact on the market.

    And Adobe of all companies is aware as anyone of the power of getting free software into the hands of millions of people. Free Adobe and Flash readers. All of the free media readers for example have pro versions and or support Pro software. This in particular has two functions of course, on a practical level it means the more media readers in the hands of people the more people will use the format and thus support the programs that create them. PDF QuickTime/Flash for example. It also has benefit of being able to up sell. And this last benefit, is in essence the Open Source Business Model. The concept is you offer something for free (not open source code necessarily but free none the less) and you use this as a marketing tool to sell other services or up sell to a pro version. Celtx used this model. Most of these web builders do it. Wix, Yoloa and so on.

    It works its way back from this main problem today. You want to have a web based business, you need a captive audience. One of the most successful ways to do this is to offer something for free that people heretofore had to pay for. They flock to your site, sign up and get it. Then you use ads on your site and email promotions if you allow (notice the option every time you sign up for one of these) and sell your other services.

    Blender is no different. They have of course some government backing. But they also rely on donations and sales of other products or services. The government I believe there backs the sales and donations for open movie projects. So if they get 200K in sales they are matched 200K and get the 400K for the project. This in tern finances more development during production and spins off with more money raised on DVDs tutorials and so on.

    Ironically even the BF (Blender Foundation) has realized that a steady monthly stream of revenue is a good idea and launched their own Cloud Service. The ironies are many.

    This one I love, OSS creates a big impact on the software industry, Adobe (ironically one of the founders of the idea - financially speaking - with PDF/Flash) panics (well they would, they realize how much financial power can come from this) and forces everyone onto the cloud. People get ticked off and threaten to go Open Source with Gimp Inkcape etc. As if this will show them what a bad idea it is. Well I imagine they were just smiling thinking they already knew what percentage of people would react this way. And further secures for them that their fears were real. That it was only a matter of time before these people left anyway.

    And Adobe is not at all a stranger to Open Source. They understand it well:

    http://techcrunch.com/2009/07/20/ado...dia-companoes/

    Again pointing to a keen awareness of what is happening in the software industry and why they reacted as they did - in my opinion.

    I think the worst thing that could have happened to the software industry financially is Open Source Software. A lot people actually despise it for this reason I imagine.

    And to the point it is not just the safe heaven people think it is as corporations start feeling so strong they can do anything, it is actually the cause of the problem in the first place and what corporations are doing that looks like strong arming is in fact utter panic over what OSS is doing to the market. So when they retreat back to OSS it is more like just feeding the beast.

    I have mixed feelings about it what with my use of Blender/Gimp and how these were there for me when I had no other options. But for me when I had enough money saved (ironically made using open source software) I bought my way back into commercial software because all along I was well aware of what I was using and what it could and could not do for me.

    That's me.

    But I think it is an interesting issue. And for me I see the rental movement as far more centered around OSS than people are talking about - or admitting (in the case of large corporations).

    That is my take on it anyway for what it is worth.
    Last edited by Surrealist.; 02-16-2015 at 01:14 AM.

  9. #99
    the Adobe parallel is bad, Flash straddles the pro and consumer market, pros generate Flash content with Adobe products, consumers watch it/play it with free Flash players which are ubiquitous and therefore Adobe owns the market, there is no similar parallel for 3D save for Game Console Makers playing both ends against the middle by charging Dev's a license fee and percentage of revenue and then stuffing game players with overpriced games because they the Console Makers subsidised the initial console purchase. 3D unlike 2D content publishing where it is pretty much Adobe or nothing seems genuinely more open with a better choice of vendors, here we have a bunch of people beefing about the way a product they are very unlikely to ever use changing the way it levies a finical purchase price they are very unlikely to ever willingly consider paying.

  10. #100
    No parallel was made. I am simply comparing this to the open source model. The parallel in this case is clear. In both cases the success of the paid-for products and/or services depend on the prevalence of the free software in the market. They go hand in hand and this is in essence what an open source business model is. People get the business side of OSS software confused with the "openess" of development on the code.

    And in relation to players in particular, you can not have the most popular encoder if you do not have the most-popular player.

    The only parallel I am making here is that clearly they understand this. And they understand the OS Business Model. They have been involved in both areas. They both have the parallel of offering something for free and then up-selling. QuickTime, Adobe and Real player all have pro versions, in the case of Realplayer this is a perfect example. They are primarily a player market. And the pro version offers more features. That is the open source model in essence.

    So if it was not clear, you take a company that has been involved in this kind of marketing of products for decades and you show them the OSS charts of growth and I am saying, they panicked. Or had a tremendous foresight depending on what side of the fence you are on.

    Marketing speak such as "no up front costs" and "easily accessible" all come from research of the OSS market. That is very clear to me. It might not be accurate. But it seems a lot more likely to me than. "They think that they are so powerful they can get away with anything." Anytime force is used it is borne out of fear.

    If they really felt dominant and felt they could do anything, I imagine they would have simply kept the ship steady, raised prices and completely ignored Gimp Inskape and all of the other OSS on the market. That kind of move could only come from a company who felt it could get away with anything because no other options exist. This kind of thing reeks more of days of old.

    Forcing into rentals to me shows a weak position.

    And I imagine Autodesk feels it too.

    All software companies seem to be currently. And for good reason. Times are changing. (for better or for worse)

    I think for artists, in the direction of better. My opinion.

  11. #101
    Ok was a little off target but open source the great white saviour striking terror in the harts of the corporate monoliths, please !, name one piece of open sauce software you have constantly used for the past ten years, exactly, outside of say Blender and possibly one other (at most) you said it yourself as soon as you could afford to you jumped ship you went for the pro paid way of life because they make a profit and they therefore tend to stick around and keep you serviced, open sauce stuff is made by people who generally give up and go do something else when they finally realise they need to make a profit in order to pay the bills.

  12. #102
    Yeah a lot of people agree with you. And I understand fully. I don't think it is realistic. But I understand.

    I don't think it is an entirely accurate description of what OSS is. This characterization you voice is exactly what I was talking about earlier. And yeah a lot of people agree with you. But I think it is incorrect assessment of what it is. If you research it, and what roll it plays in the business world you will see in only a few minutes of reading that it is far more than what you and others are describing. By a long shot.

    Now in my situation is not exactly has you have simplified it. And I only brought it up to demonstrate there is another market out there. I moved to commercial software because I researched for 2 years to find out what I needed in my pipeline. Many others would do the same research and come up with Blender. I did not. But Blender is also a moving target.

    For other products such as Microsoft Office (also available for rental) I will never have the need for. And Open Office does far more than I will ever need. Celtx screenwriting software is all I will ever need any time soon. The same can not be be said for Gimp. For me. It was such a relief to come back to Photoshop.

    So the thing is for some people 3D software does not hold the same sway in their pipeline. Some small studios completely rely on Blender.

    And so to answer your question. Two of the OS products I use everyday are still under development, still going strong. And for me are more than enough. Celtx success as an "open source" business model has now moved them into a completely web-based service. Celtx stand alone is no longer supported. So I use the last version. I am fine with that. But the point is, they used this same "free software, pay for other services model" and it worked.

    And most of the OSS that I am aware of has been around for a long time and is till going. And by the charts, if you care to research them, it is growing quite strong.

    I would not characterize it as a white savior. More like a socialist maggot, slowly eating away at what was once a capitalist strong hold om the software market. But to avoid being a hypocrite, I can not really come out against it, even if it does fly in the teeth of many of the things I personally believe in. I am grateful for what it gives me.

    And regarding Blender again. I still use it, teach it. And it will continue to be in my pipeline and used within my studio for economical reasons. This takes seats sadly away from Maya which I also plan to add using the rental model. Works for me. And so there you go. In my case. Open source software taking me away as a customer to more than one major company.

    Multiply this. You have the stats and the effect.

  13. #103
    I can't agree with your supposition, while I do believe there is some small effect with OSS it is IMHO not the main cause of the rental movement in professional software. The biggest effect OSS has is on the new generation of users of that particular software. But as others have pointed out you don't get a job with OSS. If you want to work in that particular field you have to use something else other than OSS. The rental movement is just simply the pipe dream of most companies, a steady income from it's user base period. The threat of OSS is minimal at best reason being is OSS wants to become the product they are emulating. Gimp wants to be Photoshop, and Blender wants to be Max/Maya. The best these OSS can be is a cheap knock off, and that is the problem with them when large institutions look at them. They don't see them as actual usable products because there is something that's better in their minds, what the OSS is basically copying the features from. So no matter what there is no real threat from OSS due to the perception of OSS in general.

    What OSS has done to professional companies is make them take the "education" market seriously and put out free/trial/academic versions of their software. The only reason these free/trial/academic versions exist is because the professional companies don't want OSS to take root. That's why in the past they ignored the students pirating their software for so long. They didn't mind because they were using their software and when those users went to the workplace they became their main consumer base. OSS has changed that, now you can actually legitimately use other pretty darn good free software and it's not their software. The last thing these companies want is students using OSS as their main tools when learning because if they can do everything their product does then when these students graduate, they might be able to teach or influence their professional customers that they can do the exact same things for free when they go to the workplace.

    The rental market is being used as a steady income generating device for the companies implementing it. It takes care of the main problem of software, that the customers can use their software for years without upgrading. It also reduces the R&D budget and makes profits higher. R&D is expensive and with the normal licensing model, if only 30% of the users needed that functionality then only those 30% would actually buy the next version. And they would have to spend a little more money to make a "wow" feature to help entice customers to upgrade. That is huge problem, so they solved it by making it so the software would stop working if you didn't upgrade. They couldn't put it in that context because it would cause a revolt, so they disguised it with the terms, monthly fee and always up to date with the latest features. The maintenance fee was the first step to the rental movement, but it still had the issue that the customer could still use the software for years without buying an upgrade. So they had to still R&D new "wow" features.

    IMHO the rental market is the worst thing to happen to the software market. It's going to destroy innovation. Adobe and autodesk have zero incentive to innovate now. You can already see the effect in Photoshop. There hasn't been a major "wow" feature since CS5 was released IMHO. There have been improvements here and there, but nothing that said, "ooh I need that". You will see that in time, a program like Photoline will become the innovator and Adobe the one copying their features into Photoshop. And the reason for this change will be because Photoline has to innovate so people will buy/upgrade their product while Adobe will pocket the "R&D" money to placate the shareholders. Adobe will work on non-sexy under the hood changes because they require little R&D, but innovative ideas will be few and very far between because that is expensive. The rental movement is the professional software's welfare fund. They want to gain money for the minimum/no work required. You want to see the future of Software as a "Service" you only have to look at every single cable company in existence today. High and rising fees with no innovations, hoping every day no upstart like TIVO or Netflix comes along so they have to spend their precious profits on innovative ideas to counter them.

  14. #104
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    EDIT: Lito beat me to the punch on some of this. Good to know.

    I believe there's a whole generation of kids who are growing up using Blender rather than downloading pirated software, for several reasons: A) It's easier for someone to get into who hasn't been tainted by "standards" like Maya; B) It's not illegal, which for folks serious about getting into the business is a lot safer; and C) Blender has it's tendrils into multiples areas, like architecture, gaming, engineering, graphic design, as well as 3D/animation. Maybe AD can thank Blender for discouraging piracy to some extent, but it could spell a shift in users if they're not careful. I did a Google search with "Blender 3D", "Maya 3D", and "3DS Max", and interestingly the amount of results was very close. Not very scientific, I know, but still.

    Another point I wanted to make... Here's a novel idea: Wouldn't it be much cheaper for some large companies (and maybe some smaller ones) to add to Blender's functionality to suit their individual needs? Hmmm, it's already being done with tools like Fluid Designer (http://www.microvellum.com/product/fluid-designer-2/). I wouldn't be surprised if this isn't happening in many other areas as well.
    Last edited by safetyman; 02-16-2015 at 10:44 AM.

  15. #105
    Quote Originally Posted by Lito View Post
    I can't agree with your supposition
    Well, yeah good points. I agree about the development end of rental. I think you make some good points there. I still think there is incentive to compete, but I also see what you are saying.

    Regarding OSS though have you actually looked at the statistics of open source software?

    I think you make some assumptions about open source software that are just not true. When you say, "But as others have pointed out you don't get a job with OSS". Well were exactly? You mean in the studio system? You have to qualify that. And also you have to consider that software companies - or the marketing staff actually - think broadly. And when they come up with marketing words like "indie developer" it is because they researched this and found out who they are, what they are doing and what software they are using.

    And for 3D software many have been turning to Blender. Not just to Maya or Modo or Max. I have seen this explode in the last 3-4 years.

    I actually work for one such developer. Have been for the last 3 years. Start up company. All the 3D is Blender. And the game engine is Ogre.

    All paid positions. A going comercial concern. All open source software.

    Now you get global and start thinking broadly. How many developers is this? How many start up companies go with open source software?

    Well there are numbers and statistics to this answer. And marketing people get paid to research it and find out.

    You could not make a comment like "minimal" effect without baking that up with statistics. Marketing teams think in statistics and trends. And when you compare those statistics to empty seats of software it adds up to millions of dollars. That is money they should have seen but will never see.

    I agree with you about the education system however. Do you think they are disconnected though? I don't.

    I think OSS could not be having an effect on the eduction system yet not have an effect on the private sector. OSS affects both equally. If the OSS numbers are big enough to have an effect there they are big enough to have an effect on enterprise, otherwise if what you say is true, the effect on education would also be minimal.

    You are right they don't want people learning it. And they also don't want people starting up companies with something else either.

    They answer as I said... thier buzz words... "no upfront costs" "easily accessible software on monthly terms". All targeted at start up companies, and small-sized studios looking to expand and/or keep costs at a minimum.

    They are also as you say targeted at people who have not upgraded, now making it "easy". So you are correct there as well I think.
    Last edited by Surrealist.; 02-16-2015 at 11:20 AM.

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