Autodesk CEO intends to switch all software to online use only


In an interview on Techcrunch Autodesk CEO Carl Bass states an intention to have all their software only available to use online with 2-3 years.


That’s just CEO buzzword speak, don’t take it literally.


Thats actually what i though about a year ago when i had a discussion about piracy and stuff…
But making it for such a big software like 3ds max e.t.c. will be a failure…


Heh. Considering how long XBR is taking, I can’t see it happening either… But Autodesk do make the dumbest decisions occasionally.

It would still be a good idea for people who hate the idea to flag it up - if it was a forced online use only it would effectively end my relationship with Autodesk.

I just find it odd that he would say something like that which would be pretty much universally unpopular with users. Especially how cautious the likes of Ken is about ‘future plans’



This is not going to happen!
The investment in servers would go into the trillions!
3dsmax in cloud computing is no browser game!
This would mean, at least 1 CPU per user!
Hmmmm lets see!

1 million 3dsmax users
1 million autocad users
1 million maya,XSI,Inventor,revit a.s.o users.

Lets see … 3 mio * 250 $ … 750 mio just cpus… and we need a bit more to make them operate.:slight_smile:

Never ever going to happen!

It may be that he wanted to say that in 3 years AD applications are useable in the cloud.
That could be poxxible.


Next up, cloudbased 4K video editting! :slight_smile:


lol, good points


So what am I going to do if my internet connection goes down again, when I’m in the middle of a deadline? I thought it was a hassle to upload final renders over 3G cellphone network. Next my whole workstation will be “offline”.

How can anyone in their right mind suggest something like that. Even if it’s only CEO idiot talk, it’s still sad.
Makes me wonder what kind of people at autodesk are making development decisions, I’m thinking of caddies, viewcube, eggplant.


Or me on my mountaintop with a permanently low-bandwidth connection… that’ll be greaaat.

I was reading an article about cloud computing the other day and cloudman said something like… ‘all companies with software licensing business models will have to move to the cloud in coming years - it’ll be adapt or die’.

Sounds like Carl was reading this article too.


Maybe it’s not about running and rendering with 3dsmax in the cloud. Maybe it’s about download/activate via cloud. We are not far away from that.

On the other side, look at cloud gaming and see what’s possible today. (I read about it, i never test it. I’m no gamer) For this, 3dsmax must IMHO completely rewritten. So that’s never happen in the next few years. But it is IMHO possible that autodesk develope at those, complete new cloud software… But not for me :wink:


What benefits are there for the end user?

The only thing I can think of is it would be easier to get someone up and running if going into a studio, but you’ve still got the plugin authorisation issue.

There are plenty of negatives

Internet connection reliability
Server side reliability
Unpopular with the dealers
The move towards a rental model so AD have total control over the product - stop paying and you stop using it?
Security issues for sensitive data

My last authorisation problem took a week to get resolved, but if that’s any indication of the future, I’d be well out of it.

They’ve got enough on their plate with XBR without devoting resources to this unwanted bullshit.


I am happy to say that I have met and know a bit about Carl Bass. First, he is a true geek at heart who loves DIY and nertastic gadgetry. Second, if you asked him to fire up Autocad and cad you up plans for an addition to your house, he could. The dude is way, way cool.

That said, the SaaS model has yet to prove itself out. Trying to roll that out in 2 years given the depth of Autodesks portfolio seems HIGHLY unlikely. I believe the computing power exists to handle it but the chain is only as strong as it’s weakest link. In my case, the weakest link is Comcast’s ability to deliver consistent internet service to my home.


For Autocad alone, it must be much more than that. Probably more seats than all other AD apps combined.


I highly doubt that would happen. There’s many international users who have extreme data limits and most users have average internet ability anyways

I wouldn’t be surprised though if they change their licensing to a monthly subscription model though, like what Adobe is adding.


You’re taking Carl too literally. He just means that there will be ways the product will be experienced via the cloud. He doesn’t mean that SaaS (remoting) is the only way. For example, there are already Adsk web services in Autocad and Revit (rendering) that require the cloud. These products already are “online” but no one is waving pitchforks at Adsk. At the point he says, “you will not be able to buy a desktop application that you can install”, then I’d be worried. He didn’t say that.


That would be just great if (as Steve already pointed):

  • They reduced the price of their software (there’s less people in the chain to feed - dealers are unemployed from now on, for example) although it’s more likely they would go up (servers, IT guys to maintain the systems);
  • The internet connection was fast enough and reliable enough to allow me to send hundreds or thousands of MB of assets;
  • The responsiveness of the UI/softaware was equal or better than a local install;
  • We received updates/bugfixes more often;
  • We had total privacy on our projects;

I think this may be the future of all softwares, but maybe not. For me it creates a lot more dependencies that, if one of them fails, can put me out of work. Right now I need 2 things to work with Max:
1 - my computer and;
2 - electricity from the power company.

If they implement this model I’ll need:
1 - my computer;
2 - the power company (on my side);
3 - the internet provider (on my side);
4 - lots of computers (AD side);
5 - another power company (AD side);
6 - another internet provider (AD side).

All of the above running normally at the same time. Sure I counted out many other small things (like modems, cooling system, etc) that are equally important, but let’s keep things simple. The point is - it becomes WAY easier to have a problem somewhere that can crash the whole shabang.

As Steve, this will be the day I’ll leave AD for good.


He says “2-3 years from now, everyone of our products will be used online… The only way to use them will be online”

If that’s not what he meant he should have been a lot clearer.

It’s that second part of the statement which makes it sound like without a constant connection to the cloud, you won’t be able to use any of our products.

You’ve already done that with the help files by default, which is, frankly a pain compared to the old local helpfiles by default. It’s not as bad as Adobe who has their own reader, which then feels the need to update every other day, when I just want to search for a topic, but I’d much rather have it stored locally.

If it came to being a rental model where you can’t use the software at all unless you’re on subscription - then that’s the point where Autodesk and I go our separate ways.


I agree he could be a lot cleaner and he’s created questions by his statement. That doesn’t mean he’s saying, “you must use 3ds Max on a server” in the future. That might be one option of how you use 3ds Max. Another option is that we get some cloud-based service that you also use. If you’re not online, then you can’t use it. That’s what he should have said.


This has not worked out well for Ubisoft. Paying customers have constant issues with connectivity while pirates have no issues whatsoever. If this is his idea of copy control, it’s already been proven to not work.


+1 That’s why I created:

The old dongle and the new software activates as a copy control has also not worked well… That’s doesn’t mean i like the online-software stuff. I mean: remove the license stuff from max, it makes no sense…