Author Topic: The Autodesk Eagle edition  (Read 139266 times)

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Offline donotdespisethesnake

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Re: The Autodesk Eagle edition
« Reply #300 on: January 27, 2017, 01:24:57 pm »
The internet-tethered license is huge hole. It's like designing a PCB with a non-keyed power connector and no polarity protection. You could promise yourself that you'll be careful, you'll always plug it in the right way, but eventually it's going to release the magic smoke.

You can't build up trust over time with something like that. We all know that it's just a matter of time before Autodesk drops Eagle and shuts down the servers. We're only haggling over how long that is.

^ this. I can't see Eagle has a good future at Autodesk. If it turns out not to be the cash machine Autodesk hoped for, who knows what will happen...

I remember when Novell paid a good price for Unix. It seemed like a brilliant move to build a company with a wide base that could compete in OS and applications with Microsoft and a lot of fine words were spoken about future profits. In reality, Novell had no idea what to do with Unix (I know, I was there), and the whole thing fell apart.

You can find thousands of such stories of course, but the fact Autodesk did it recently with Softimage should ring some alarm bells. I wouldn't be surprised to see Eagle being sold on again, or dropped in favor of some other package Autodesk buys in.
Bob
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Offline Karel

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Re: The Autodesk Eagle edition
« Reply #301 on: January 27, 2017, 01:37:09 pm »
 

Offline ebastler

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Re: The Autodesk Eagle edition
« Reply #302 on: January 27, 2017, 02:21:25 pm »
http://www.autodesk.com/products/softimage/overview
Future of Eagle?

SoftImage has been mentioned before as a precedent, but I could not find a clear statement how Autodesk actually handled this: Did they "just" stop developing it further, while you can continue to use your existing version of the software indefinitely? Or is Softimage also licensed via a subscription model, and once the subscription ends you can't use it anymore?
 

Online james_s

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Re: The Autodesk Eagle edition
« Reply #303 on: January 27, 2017, 04:47:28 pm »
http://www.autodesk.com/products/softimage/overview
Future of Eagle?

SoftImage has been mentioned before as a precedent, but I could not find a clear statement how Autodesk actually handled this: Did they "just" stop developing it further, while you can continue to use your existing version of the software indefinitely? Or is Softimage also licensed via a subscription model, and once the subscription ends you can't use it anymore?

My take from that page is that you can subscribe to 3DS Max of Maya and then they let you continue to use the last version of Softimage, but if you stop subscribing you lose access.

It's a perfect example of why I will never rent software. No way, no how, just no.
 

Offline Nauris

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Re: The Autodesk Eagle edition
« Reply #304 on: January 27, 2017, 09:52:43 pm »
Autodesk annual report FY2016 and Q3FY17 results are available from Autodesk website
Must-to-read for anybody wishing to enter long-term relationship with Autodesk.

Key points:

Autodesk annual revenue is about 2500 million USD

This transition to subscription-only and end of sales of all perpetual licences is clearly stated as Autodesk's new strategy.
So all this is coming from top management.

Autodesk's profitability has been in steady decline for five years. FY2016 was first year since 1984 Autodesk did not turn profit, altought income from operations was still barely positive.
Q3FY17 cumulative operative loss was 330 million USD.

Revenues are going down (10%) and expenses are not.

Autodesk still has plenty of cash.

In my opinion there is turbulent times ahead.
 
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Offline Stupid Beard

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Re: The Autodesk Eagle edition
« Reply #305 on: January 27, 2017, 10:34:15 pm »
http://www.autodesk.com/products/softimage/overview
Future of Eagle?

SoftImage has been mentioned before as a precedent, but I could not find a clear statement how Autodesk actually handled this: Did they "just" stop developing it further, while you can continue to use your existing version of the software indefinitely? Or is Softimage also licensed via a subscription model, and once the subscription ends you can't use it anymore?

To be absolutely fair to Autodesk, Maya used to be a major competitor to 3DS Max until they bought it. Many of the same concerns were voiced at the time but it's still going now 11 years on.

In the case of Softimage, they already had 3DS Max and Maya and so keeping a third tool around that overlaps two you already have doesn't really make much sense. In the case of Eagle, they have no prior offering in the field so I think that pointing at Softimage and saying "this will happen to eagle" is very misleading.
 

Online james_s

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Re: The Autodesk Eagle edition
« Reply #306 on: January 27, 2017, 11:03:26 pm »
I think it will happen to Eagle for different reasons. They do not themselves have a competing project, but I don't believe they will get enough users onboard with the subscription for it to remain profitable. As far as I know, the vast bulk of Eagle users are precisely the sort of people who are going to snub their nose at the idea of renting software. Eagle is not a product in a class of its own the way some of the other productivity tools Autodesk offers are and given their inexperience in the EDA field I'm not remotely confident that they can come up with compelling new features to compete with the high end subscription products out there.
 

Online macegr

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Re: The Autodesk Eagle edition
« Reply #307 on: January 27, 2017, 11:22:15 pm »
I can imagine some Autodesk product manager seeing all this backlash and dismissing us...we're not product managers, we're not CEOs, we don't have experience running a business. What could we possibly know?

Sure, that applies to some of us...though not all. More importantly, many of us have been customers and dealt with many products and many companies. We've seen entire product life cycles from birth to death. We've seen entire companies come and go. We've seen companies lay off thousands of people while giving their CEOs a bonus. We've seen them buy other companies and then cancel the product and end all cloud services within months. Always preceded by strong, confident language about the long term support they'll be providing, the bright future. Always followed by deepest regrets, unpredictable circumstances, market shifts, token conciliatory gestures, and more layoffs.

Owning a perpetual license never meant that the software would work for eternity. But it meant we would have time to find another solution on our own schedule, with plenty of advance warning.
 
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Offline Tandy

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Re: The Autodesk Eagle edition
« Reply #308 on: January 27, 2017, 11:25:30 pm »
To be fair the CADSoft developers that Autodesk have inherited DO have some idea about how an EDA works. There are two ways it can go really..

1. The developers have lots of ideas that they can now work on that perhaps they were not able to under the previous ownership.

2. The AutoDesk management fail to understand this specialist market and make the developers do what they think will be best for revenue. Developers get fed up and move on and AutoDesk hire new yes men to replace them.
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Online macegr

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Re: The Autodesk Eagle edition
« Reply #309 on: January 27, 2017, 11:48:59 pm »
Honestly the subscription feels like squeezing blood from a stone here. And to me, it smacks of distrust in their new purchase. They ask for a subscription right after buying the software and hardly doing anything to it yet. The reasoning is that "we need to pay our developers to do all the great things we're going to do!"

Ok, yeah, developers need to be paid. And paid developers can do some amazing things, stuff that Eagle really needs. Realistically...Eagle has the potential to be a really good product, one that even meshes well with Autodesk's other products.

So whatever happened to investing in a product? Why does Eagle have to live paycheck-to-paycheck, depending on subscriptions trickling in to clothe and feed developers? Autodesk easily has enough cash to pay 20 developers to work on Eagle full-time for two years, bringing it up to true professional standards, something nobody could resist because it's so good. But Autodesk needs it to start pulling in monthly fees right away? Eagle has to prove itself as a cash cow immediately, there is no grace period from Autodesk to build it into something amazing first. They don't want to put more money into it, they want to start pulling money out right now.

Getting the money immediately turned out to be more important than the development and improvement of the product. They spent most of their development time the past few months integrating the licensing code. We don't have any reason to believe this prioritization won't continue into the future.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2017, 11:52:00 pm by macegr »
 

Offline timb

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Re: The Autodesk Eagle edition
« Reply #310 on: January 28, 2017, 01:26:41 am »
Altium should capitalise on this publicity by offering a half price deal to existing Eagle license holders or something and push that they have a perpetual license.
Opportunity going begging...

It might be, but only for taking away Windows based users. With EAGLE being a lot more in the maker/hacker space I suspect a reasonable proportion of those users will be on Linux. For me personally (for professional work) it's Mac for my main design work and Linux for the PC on my lab bench so Altium wouldn't work for me. I suspect even with a drastic price cut Altium would still be way out of the price range of most EAGLE users though.

I think as many have already said, the main beneficiary of the fallout will be KiCAD and it'll likely get a lot of additional funds donated by disgruntled EAGLE users taking their subscription money and donating to KiCAD in protest. Whilst I will stick with EAGLE as I like it and have a lot of time invested in it, and I do believe there will be more coming from Autodesk to help solve these issues, I can't really fault people for taking this stance and having a very capable alternative to EAGLE which is a real competitor to EAGLE (Cadence/Altium/Mentor are in a league of their own in terms of features) could be good for EAGLE as it will force Autodesk to push ahead of KiCAD in terms of functionality or bleed users.

Just my 2p worth....

Rachael

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Offline ebastler

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Re: The Autodesk Eagle edition
« Reply #311 on: January 28, 2017, 07:36:11 am »
They ask for a subscription right after buying the software and hardly doing anything to it yet. [...]

So whatever happened to investing in a product? Why does Eagle have to live paycheck-to-paycheck, depending on subscriptions trickling in to clothe and feed developers? Autodesk easily has enough cash to pay 20 developers to work on Eagle full-time for two years, bringing it up to true professional standards, something nobody could resist because it's so good. But Autodesk needs it to start pulling in monthly fees right away? [...]

Getting the money immediately turned out to be more important than the development and improvement of the product. They spent most of their development time the past few months integrating the licensing code. We don't have any reason to believe this prioritization won't continue into the future.

I agree, and believe that this approach will cost Autodesk a lot of money long-term.

They should have impressed the customer base with some really major improvements first . A push-and-shove router would have done that for me. Or maybe a proper tool to organize and edit component libraries (where I can still remember the "workflow" the next time I use it  ;)). The actual V8 features do not qualify as "impressive" for me...

After they have shown their committment to the product in that way, they might have a chance to convince a significant part of their customer base to move to a subscription model. It would still require a major leap of faith from the customers, because they have to trust Autodesk to keep investing and developing in the long run.
 

Offline donotdespisethesnake

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Re: The Autodesk Eagle edition
« Reply #312 on: January 28, 2017, 02:36:22 pm »
To be fair the CADSoft developers that Autodesk have inherited DO have some idea about how an EDA works. There are two ways it can go really..

1. The developers have lots of ideas that they can now work on that perhaps they were not able to under the previous ownership.

2. The AutoDesk management fail to understand this specialist market and make the developers do what they think will be best for revenue. Developers get fed up and move on and AutoDesk hire new yes men to replace them.

I think CadSoft was a small outfit based in Germany. I wonder how many of the employees who haven't been fired or already quit are willing to continue working for Autodesk? Employee's reviews are not exactly rosy ... https://www.glassdoor.co.uk/Reviews/CADsoft-Reviews-E722114.htm I'm inclined to think option 2) is more likely.

ETA: the company on Glassdoor is a different and unrelated Cadsoft. Apologies for error.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2017, 11:48:17 am by donotdespisethesnake »
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Offline madires

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Re: The Autodesk Eagle edition
« Reply #313 on: January 28, 2017, 03:13:45 pm »
The way Autodesk handles Eagle clearly suggests that they see the MRR as the most important point, not happy customers. As a software company you should try finding the balance between profit and customer satisfaction for a long term success. If you dominate a market you can get away with some abuse of customers without any immediate backlash resulting in less revenue, but on the long term the market will change accordingly. In this case KiCad might profit by donations (money or paid software developers) and overtake Eagle. KiCad has potential and does some things much better than Eagle already. Eagle is far behind other EDA packages regarding features and price/performance ratio. I've got an old licence for BAE light (IIRC around EUR 100). That EDA package had features ten years ago which are still lacking in Eagle. It's like Autodesk would sell a subscription for Win XP for much more than the original price while adding a very few drivers for new hardware.
 

Offline rachaelp

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Re: The Autodesk Eagle edition
« Reply #314 on: January 28, 2017, 04:09:53 pm »
To be fair the CADSoft developers that Autodesk have inherited DO have some idea about how an EDA works. There are two ways it can go really..

1. The developers have lots of ideas that they can now work on that perhaps they were not able to under the previous ownership.

2. The AutoDesk management fail to understand this specialist market and make the developers do what they think will be best for revenue. Developers get fed up and move on and AutoDesk hire new yes men to replace them.

I think CadSoft was a small outfit based in Germany. I wonder how many of the employees who haven't been fired or already quit are willing to continue working for Autodesk? Employee's reviews are not exactly rosy ... https://www.glassdoor.co.uk/Reviews/CADsoft-Reviews-E722114.htm I'm inclined to think option 2) is more likely.

That appears to be a completely different company called Cadsoft Consulting who are based in Arizona. They are unrelated to CADSoft/Autodesk the owners of EAGLE.

P.S. I can't take credit for spotting this, somebody on another forum where this link was also posted pointed this out over there.
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Offline Stupid Beard

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Re: The Autodesk Eagle edition
« Reply #315 on: January 28, 2017, 05:26:02 pm »

To be absolutely fair to Autodesk, Maya used to be a major competitor to 3DS Max until they bought it. Many of the same concerns were voiced at the time but it's still going now 11 years on.


Past performance is not a guarantee of future returns.

No, it's not. That's the point I was trying to make to all the people who are pointing at Softimage as a guarantee of doom.
 

Offline iaeen

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Re: The Autodesk Eagle edition
« Reply #316 on: January 28, 2017, 05:55:39 pm »

To be absolutely fair to Autodesk, Maya used to be a major competitor to 3DS Max until they bought it. Many of the same concerns were voiced at the time but it's still going now 11 years on.


Past performance is not a guarantee of future returns.

No, it's not. That's the point I was trying to make to all the people who are pointing at Softimage as a guarantee of doom.

I don't think anyone is pointing to it as a guarantee of doom. We're pointing to it as proof that Autodesk is willing to throw its users under the buss, with no warning and even after promising otherwise, if it suits their purposes. This very real risk is enough to make people think twice about investing their time in the Eagle ecosystem (in addition to Autodesk's money grubbing license policies).
 

Offline donotdespisethesnake

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Re: The Autodesk Eagle edition
« Reply #317 on: January 29, 2017, 11:45:20 am »
That appears to be a completely different company called Cadsoft Consulting who are based in Arizona. They are unrelated to CADSoft/Autodesk the owners of EAGLE.

Ooops! Apologies for some bad googling there.

Autodesk (if it is the right one) has slightly more positive reviews https://www.glassdoor.co.uk/Reviews/Autodesk-Reviews-E1155.htm
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Offline donotdespisethesnake

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Re: The Autodesk Eagle edition
« Reply #318 on: January 29, 2017, 12:18:33 pm »

To be absolutely fair to Autodesk, Maya used to be a major competitor to 3DS Max until they bought it. Many of the same concerns were voiced at the time but it's still going now 11 years on.


Past performance is not a guarantee of future returns.

No, it's not. That's the point I was trying to make to all the people who are pointing at Softimage as a guarantee of doom.

That's like having a dog which savages your kid, but keeping the dog because it might not do it again. We're all Bayesians here.

Of course, all companies have a financial duty to their shareholders, not their customers, so will always make decisions in the financial interest of the company. In that respect, Autodesk is no different. There are other reasons why a company could be forced to withdraw a service outside of their control.

Any company that has a subscription only model for their software presents a business risk to their customers. Subscription models work for some services, if they reduce operating costs. In this case, the cost is higher for greater risk.

It's not a personal thing, I don't have any antipathy towards Autodesk, it's just sensible business not to buy into a subscription model for specialised software like Eagle. As for the hobby/home user side, they are really quite sensitive to price. If the cost was $1 a month, people wouldn't mind nearly as much.

There is a parallel here with compiler IDEs. Traditionally these have been expensive tools, but the availability of good quality free tools is killing the business. Most silicon vendors have a free IDE based on open source editor and compiler (e.g. Eclipse, GCC). Faced with fewer customers, the standalone tool vendors are forced to put up prices, which makes them even less attractive.

I see the same course for Eagle. It so easily replaceable by free tools such as KiCad, it is facing a terminal decline. Autodesk could perhaps give it a lease of life by making it free except for high end versions, and focus efforts on high-revenue customers. But Autodesk will certainly lose customers to freeware with their current approach.
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Offline madires

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Re: The Autodesk Eagle edition
« Reply #319 on: January 29, 2017, 01:20:01 pm »
I see the same course for Eagle. It so easily replaceable by free tools such as KiCad, it is facing a terminal decline. Autodesk could perhaps give it a lease of life by making it free except for high end versions, and focus efforts on high-revenue customers. But Autodesk will certainly lose customers to freeware with their current approach.

They have already started to lose customers. And the other customers will wait how things develop before deciding to "upgrade" to the subscription model or to move to another EDA package, while using the time to look into alternatives. My guess is that Eagle's revenue for this year will be nearly zero. Also I wouldn't be surprised if Autodesk would drop Eagle in about a year.
 

Offline Kjelt

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Re: The Autodesk Eagle edition
« Reply #320 on: January 29, 2017, 01:31:38 pm »
of course, all companies have a financial duty to their shareholders, not their customers, so will always make decisions in the financial interest of the company.
Short term : investor  satisfaction
Long term: customer satisfaction
Why we face the end of the big company capitalist wot: the CEO only is appointed for a few years and that is his focus scope, eg investor and shareholder satisfaction.
Smaller family businesses have a scope of tens of years and focus on customer and employee satisfaction, overall do the family businesses return a stead profit each and every year some years less but they can survive on their cashfund they built in the good years while big companies sometimes have double digit profits then years of loss.
 

Offline kaz911

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Re: The Autodesk Eagle edition
« Reply #321 on: January 29, 2017, 05:16:12 pm »
You can not usually get shareholder satisfaction without customer satisfaction - apart from in the very short term.

The best guys who analyse share prices - gets on the ground - and looks in the shops/outlets and talks to customers and staff.

And for subscription services like Adobe - it seems like Adobe is desperate - so they offer big clients HUGE discounts to where it was cheaper than it used to be when upgrading every few years. But still then many of my clients have not moved (I run a graphics outsourcing company) to Adobe Cloud based products. In the old days my typical customers (magazines) used to be the bread and butter. Now I think they are only the bread for Adobe while the small business are the butter and now cheese and cake.
 

Offline XFDDesign

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Re: The Autodesk Eagle edition
« Reply #322 on: January 30, 2017, 03:29:32 pm »
A funny thing happened recently, which is in line with this whole subscription mess too.

I've been learning how to play the Piano with an online program (there are about 3 major ones). Initially the product worked well, and I got committed to a 1 year pre-paid contract.

Three months in, they did an update which broke the program (something introduced obscene amounts of latency). There is no 'archive' to go backwards to. Old versions get forced to upgrade in order to use the service. Which means I can't just roll back to something which was known to work (had an older copy of the program on my laptop). I've paid for something that I can literally not operate, until they figure out what they broke and fix it. This is not a 'server down' issue. It isn't a hardware compatibility issue. It's a forced update issue that is advertised as a 'feature' for being on the subscription service. The support system's response: Uninstall it and then reinstall it.

Want to guess whether it fixed the problem or not?

Once I finish my current project I'm working on in Eagle, I'll switch to KiCad and donate $500 to them.
 
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Offline bgm

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Re: The Autodesk Eagle edition
« Reply #323 on: January 31, 2017, 12:13:15 am »
I'm going to disagree with you on this one. 

As a *regular* user (and I'm talking nearly daily here even though I don't do PCB layout for a living per-se), there is a *huge* amount of usability improvements that Eagle can most definitely use which would improve the experience in it for both new *and* existing users. 

So ... ongoing development of PCB software is something that *is* needed.  Take the most obvious example ... Auto-routers - there is not a single vendor on the planet that has got that one even close to right (some are considerably better than others, but when you get down to it ... pretty much all of them are "meh"). 

... and this is for *all* packages, not just Eagle (I'm talking Altium, KiCAD and so on).
I don't get your point. You have NOT gotten any of those improvements from Eagle for the last 6 years or so, still you stayed, proof that you do not need those improvements which was our point.

Not true.  Credit (albeit very limited) where it is due, CadSOFT did improve Eagle over time, but it has been at a glacial pace so you could very rightly assume that nothing was ever done. 

The module stuff introduced in 7.x (I think ... my memory is getting bad now from when they actually introduced that) was something that absolutely *needed* to be added for anything even remotely complex. 

The auto router, while still mediocre at best, has improved in v7 from say v6. 

So ... it *has* improved, but nowhere near at the rate at which KiCAD has improved in the last 5 years - and I've been watching that one closely. 

Quote
Second you want autorouter improvements but make the point yourself no-one has it or can deliver. We probably have to wait for AI to improve and be integrated in cad packages for that to happen.

So what you will end up is, a steep monthly licensing bill with some but without the real improvements you want, or seek, well good luck to you. You might consider switching to Altium and you will have all the improvements starting tomorrow, with the same monthly bill ofcourse.

... and you are completely missing *my* point. 

All products can do with development, and it is in the interests of *EVERYONE* that there is a rich and vibrant development on them all so that there is competition and that they are all forced to get better. 

If Eagle stays stagnant for too long ... it dies.  Same applies to Altium, KiCAD and so froth. 

That means as the users we have "choice". 

The development does however mean that someone actually has to do the work ... and they need to EAT and LIVE.  A roof over your head, a bed to sleep in, a meal in front of you - that means money. 

So how do you fund that?

For a commerical product, a subscription model is *one* way of funding that (it isn't the only way), and even a subscription model can be implemented in a number of different ways.  Subscriptions are not inherently evil ... it's how they are implemented that can either make them evil (or not). 

Now, the problem with EDA tools is that they really are specialist, and unlike say MS Word, you really don't get truly productive with them until you expend a *lot* of time with them so every vendor always has the benefit of inertia that a user has to overcome with changing a tool.  The longer the user has been using it, the larger the libraries, the more ingrained the work flows, and therefore the less likely the user is to change. 

That said, if there is choice, if a vendor really does screw up well and truly, they should be *terrified* that their user base will go to their competition because once a user switches, it is very unlikely that they will *ever* come back. 

I'm all in favour of a sustainable cost model for EDA tools.  Software devs need to eat - that is a simple fact of life. 

I am *NOT* in favour of a subscription *only* model and definitely not one that is "forced" onto the existing user base and basically *abusing* the inertia that the users need to overcome in order to switch. 

Am I being unreasonable???? 


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Offline Kjelt

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Re: The Autodesk Eagle edition
« Reply #324 on: January 31, 2017, 09:24:58 am »
Not true.  Credit (albeit very limited) where it is due, CadSOFT did improve Eagle over time, but it has been at a glacial pace so you could very rightly assume that nothing was ever done.
 
My point was that the improvements were small and over large time, that in combination with a perpetual license does not work out in terms of revenue, as we have seen.


Quote
... and you are completely missing *my* point. 
All products can do with development, and it is in the interests of *EVERYONE* that there is a rich and vibrant development on them all so that there is competition and that they are all forced to get better. 
If Eagle stays stagnant for too long ... it dies.  Same applies to Altium, KiCAD and so froth. 
That means as the users we have "choice". 

The development does however mean that someone actually has to do the work ... and they need to EAT and LIVE.  A roof over your head, a bed to sleep in, a meal in front of you - that means money. 
So how do you fund that?

I agree that "All products can do with development" now take a look at which model will most likely render this:

With a perpetual model the developers have to earn their money, if they deliver great improvements and user satisfaction for a new version, the users will upgrade and buy that new version -> money,
                                  if the developers do not improve enough, users will not upgrade -> no money

With a license model, if the developers deliver great improvements and user satisfaction -> new users, more licenses, more money/month
                                if the developers do nothing , eat out their nose -> they still earn get their money each and every month.

Perhaps it will decline as users switch to other products but as you have already read in this topic many users do not have that choice, they have invested in their libraries, personell education/training and now are facing paying each month or switching.

I am not saying this is going to be the case here and that Autocad is going to milk a dead cow for the coming years but I think that in terms of stimulation for a company to invest and improve their software product a perpetual model beats a license model: they really have to earn it.
 


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