Autodesk to pull the plug on 123D

The reason you should never rely on SaaS for anything important is that, well, you just can’t rely on it. If the software breaks, or the vendor goes under, or decides that line’s not profitable enough, or just loses interest, you’re screwed. More importantly, you’re screwed on a timeframe that’s out of your control, and probably much shorter than you would like. You can’t just go on using the software until you’re ready to move on, like you can with perpetual licenses.

Thanks for the latest lesson, Autodesk, regarding 123D:

Over the past few years, millions of people have unlocked their creativity with the Autodesk 123D apps and community. We’ve grown from one desktop tool in 2011 to multiple apps across desktop, web, and mobile.
 
We’re incredibly proud of these products, and even more proud of what you all have MADE with them. But we recognize that the portfolio has become complex. We are making some changes to simplify our Autodesk portfolio and workflows for people everywhere who love to make things. We are consolidating these tools and features into key apps such as Tinkercad, Fusion 360, and ReMake.
 
Today, we are sharing the news that in early 2017, after we complete this consolidation, we’ll be shutting down 123Dapp.com and turning off many of the apps to new download. Rest assured that we remain committed to providing free tools to hobbyists, kids, hackers, and makers around the world. We value you, your models, and are going to do this consolidation in the right way.
 
You’ll be able to access and download your content from 123Dapp.com in the coming months. We will make every effort to make sure you will be notified before we make any changes to the apps or website.
 
What’s next? We’ll be working closely with you, the 123D Community of users, to make sure your questions are answered. We’ll be sharing more details on this blog and our support forums, and will notify you when we start to implement changes.
 
Autodesk is committed to help people make anything and we are committed to help you continue to do just that. Look for more detailed information in the next few days, weeks and months.
 
–The Autodesk 123D Team

 
Whether Autodesk’s definition of “the right way” coincides with that of users remains to be seen. Of course, Autodesk 123D is free and you get what you (don’t) pay for. But if you think Autodesk won’t do this with its paid SaaS products, you’re dreaming. The same applies to any vendor, but Autodesk in particular has a horrible history of killing products and leaving masses of crying orphans to fend for themselves.

2 Comments:

  1. Autodesk has also killed off desktop software, like Actrix, but wr can keep right on using it.

    • I have a copy of Graphic Impact (Autodesk’s short-lived PowerPoint-like software from the early 90s) lying around here somewhere. I used it to do a systems analysis presentation to a company as part of my B.App.Sc, after Autodesk killed it off. If it had been SaaS I would have been rooted, but it wasn’t so I was fine. I bet it would still work today, if only I could find it.

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