writes "Autodesk will detail in October an "evolution" of its business model that includes more options to rent its software, rather than buying it, CEO Carl Bass said in an earnings conference call yesterday. Bass promised an array of new rental options by the end of the year that he said will give customers more subscription options and increase the predictability of the company's revenue over time. Bass stressed that Autodesk wasn't upending its existing model, but augmenting it. "Recall that, just 10 years ago, we added subscription maintenance to our revenue stream," he said. "That was a big change at the time, and there was no shortage of skeptics. Today, that's a billion-dollar business and represents over 40% of our revenue. Suffice it to say that transition was a huge success." Analysts on the call immediately started drawing comparisons with Adobe's move earlier this year to a subscription-only pricing model for its Creative Cloud software. Bass said that Adobe's success made Autodesk more confident about the feasibility of rental pricing, but suggested that Autodesk's move wouldn't be quite as aggressive. "It became more clear to us that customers were willing to accept, and some even wanted, this new opportunity," Bass said. "Because we're starting in a different place than Adobe, we don't feel the need to force people, as they did, to go to these new license models and end perpetual licenses."
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