Autodesk Desktop Subscription: Why Buy the Cow when You Can Rent the Milk for a Small Fee?

In addition to perpetual licenses that you can add a Maintenance Subscription to, Autodesk also offers software rental plans as another option to pay for Autodesk software.  Autodesk rental plans are called Autodesk Desktop Subscription. Desktop Subscription licenses are fully-featured versions of Autodesk software installed on a workstation with the ability to be used on/offline.  Like Autodesk perpetual licenses you retain ownership of your work and the files you created within the software even if you forgo renewing your Desktop Subscription.  But unlike perpetual licenses; Autodesk has the ability to and will eliminate access to the software unless you maintain (Desktop) Subscription at all times.

Today you have a choice between a rental plan or a perpetual license depending on what works best for you but Autodesk has announced their intention to gradually transition to offering software only as Autodesk Desktop Subscription.  Beginning February 1, 2016, in the first phase of this transition,  new seats of most non suite products such as Autodesk AutoCAD will likely be available only as a Desktop Subscription offering. This change will affect only those looking to purchase new or crossgrade to seats of Autodesk non suite software.  This first phase does not impact the purchase of perpetual licenses of Autodesk product suites or those customers who currently have Autodesk perpetual licenses that are on an active Maintenance Subscription.  Customers interested in adding licenses to their existing non suite Autodesk software will be able to but it will be a Desktop Subscription vs. a perpetual license.  Autodesk is making options such as network capabilities for Desktop Subscription licenses available to make using a combination of perpetual and Desktop Subscription licenses more seamless.

Desktop Subscription offers pay as you go on a monthly, quarterly, annual, or multi-year basis.  Costs vary according to product and terms of the rental plan. The lengthier the term the more cost effective overall.   For a list of available Desktop Subscription plans, visit:  Additional information is available in this FAQ as well as visual Infographic titled “The way you purchase software is changing: A buyer’s guide” which can be viewed by clicking here.

Throughout this changing climate, Microsol Resources is staying informed and updated so we can help our customers and prospects navigate this transition.  Varying set of circumstances dictates which offering or combination of offerings makes the most financial sense. Please contact your Account Executive or email us at so we can help you get the most out of your Autodesk software.


About the author

Rowena is a Senior Subscription Specialist; she joined Microsol Resources in March of 2000. She was born in NYC and raised in Queens, NY, and currently works in the Microsol Resources Boston office, residing in Brookline, MA.