Announcing new features to SketchUp 2019 and LayOut!

Something worth noting is that when zoomed to 16X and image slider at 18X, you do get 18X images, but you only get 16X terrain. A Classic license user who has no choice but to go into 18X and use Add More Imagery… to get the adjacent tiles, ends up with the same higher resolution images, and way better terrain than a 16X/18X subscription user would get.


You’ve purchased what we refer to as “Classic” Licenses. Your M&S plan is only available for classic licenses and entitles you to a major version upgrade (if we release while your M&S is active) and technical support via email. Note that your version upgrade can be used under a perpetual license which does not expire even if you choose not to renew your M&S plan.

Our new subscription offerings are annual subscriptions which expire if you don’t renew. They are priced lower and also include access to several additional services/products such as Trimble Connect, SketchUp Mobile viewer and SketchUp XR headsets viewer. Check here for more info.

Much of the aggravation in this thread stems from the fact that we have not yet released pricing information for existing customers (like yourself) who may be looking to move from a classic license over to subscription. Unfortunately I can’t offer more detail other than it’s something we’re actively working on. Please stay tuned for an announcement there and I apologize in advance for the delay.

I would not describe your renewal of M&S two months ago as poor timing. We’re still selling classic licenses and renewing annual M&S plans. We just released a bunch of great features for SU2019 customers. The Large Area Import is the only one that happens to be limited to our new subscription customers. The reason for that is: it’s more of a web service than a dedicated feature of the desktop application (ie SketchUp’s solid tools). We’re making big changes so we can release product updates more often and so our customers see relevant improvements on a more regular schedule. It is possible that some subset of those future updates which are powered by web services, may only be available to subscribers.

Hi @db11

You are assuming that we could offer M&S plus our new subscription features at the same price as M&S. Unfortunately the price for M&S plus full subscription features would have to be higher than an M&S renewal is today. That’s why I framed it as a 3rd choice - Classic+M&S vs Subscription vs Hybird (Classic + M&S + Subscription features & services) .

We’ll continue to support classic licenses until our market indicates that majority of users are ready to switch. Despite all the backlash on these and other forums, many people, especially businesses, prefer subscriptions. This is because it makes software purchases a predictable on-going expense and not a capital asset.

Although many customers interpret the shift to subscriptions as price gouging, the truth is quite different and very important for people to understand. One reason for the move to subscriptions is: technology has shifted. Software increasingly runs on cloud based services or requires subscription based tools for development. 10 years ago most applications, including dev tools, ran on desktop machines and application data was limited to the files stored on that machine. Today, the standard for many software products is: your data and applications, available on multiple devices, anywhere you can be connected to the internet. I understand that many of our customer’s workflows don’t yet leverage modern cloud infrastructure but we have to think about where the CAD industry will be many years down the road. The most important reason for the shift to subscription is: it results in a much healthier and sustainable relationship between the customer and software developer. It also makes it somewhat easier to combat piracy and license abuse which is something we owe to every paying customer. The traditional perpetual software model unfortunately incentivizes bad practices by both customer and developer. With perpetual, developers are incentivized to build features which attract new customers at the expense of focusing on existing customer’s problems. On the other side, some perpetual customers are incentivized to stagnate on particular version when they don’t see relevant updates or simply when they want to skip paying maintenance. Neither of those situations are fair to customers who are paying regular maintenance fees every year. The subscription model balances the scales on both sides. Software developers must listen more closely to customers and earn their renewal every year by continually delivering value. Developers much also stay ahead of their competitors on basic workflows and stability. Customers must pay on a regular interval as they continue to derive value from the software. There is a big problem transitioning legacy customers to the new model because they feel that prices are increasing. We are currently working hard on that issue. Also, long tail customers who’s workflows may be corner cases or are infrequent users may also be underserved by the new model and we have ideas to help those customers. However in the long run, the net result is that core customers end up gaining the most benefit and seeing improvements which are more impactful to their day to day needs.

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We paid up front, remember?

The actual truth about subscriptions or “software as a service” (SaaS) is that they are just the latest tool for companies to create vendor lock-in. The only part of any business that likes SaaS is the accounting department because it contributes to predictable cash flow. That is, until they actually get around to doing the math and they realize that you are now paying almost 3x what you used to with perpetual + maintenance assuming you’ve had your licenses more than 4 years. The reason you haven’t come up with a “deal” for long time perpetual customers is because there isn’t a good one for us.

The biggest problem with SaaS is that once you stop paying you loose access to the software and you can’t get to the 15 years worth of SketchUp models you have on your network. That isn’t a problem with perpetual licenses.

Your 3rd paragraph just makes my head hurt.


@Bryceosaurus I disagree. With SaaS (edit: or SaS), all my SketchUp projects are ‘locked’ and so there’s less incentive to add anything of value. Don’t like the latest updates and don’t pay = don’t have access to your work anymore when the subscription ends.

Your most loyal customers who have been with SkechUp for the longest time are hurt even the most. They have invested a lot in making 3d libraries and have a long history of making projects in SketchUp & LayOut. Clients often return after 5 or 10 years for an addition / remodeling. Not being able to pick up and edit the old models anymore is bad for business.


For the record, the subscription license is not SaaS.
It is still a normal desktop application (you would have to ‘sign in ‘ or ‘phone home’ every 28 days, though)
In fact, the ‘soft’ introduction of the subscription model (soft as in: giving the user a choise instead of shutting the whole perpetual license down, like other AEC software did) lead to this conflicting situation for the developers(who to please: the old perpetual user or the new subscriptioneer)

I saw a graph of the use of certain tools in a software application once and wondered:
‘If they could measure the usage of tools, what more could they measure?’

Also: the new generation does not seem to be bothered by ‘possesion’ but more with ‘use of’

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To clear my mind in all of this, if a user subscribes for a year then fails to continue with the subscription can they still use the version of Pro they were subscribed to?

Nope. After the subscription expires, the software stops functioning entirely.

Software as a Subscription [ not as a Service ] is another [un]popular model, used by Siemens PLM solution Solid Edge as well as SU…



Semantics. If it stops working when you stop paying it’s functionally SaaS. Doesn’t matter if the software resides on your hard drive or in the cloud.


I keep getting prompted to upgrade my SU, even though I am using SU 2019. I assume this is just for the so-called subscription “upgrade” which I see as basically an added cost I can’t afford, and also as a way of not installing the software on my local drive, which has to be faster than the unreliable internet. So I will continue ignoring this, including the prompt from Layout.
My main model is over 700mb now and I can’t mess with it.

current mac SU version is 19.2.221, if you don’t upgrade you miss out on new features and bug fixes…

your call…


Has nothing to do with subscription, only effects licensing the desktop app…

Hi NewThinking2

If the prompt is to install the latest version and you’re on 2019 already, then the update will give you a bunch of new features.

There is no need to change your plan or upgrade to a different version, its a free download for all 2019 users regardless of the license type that you’re currently on. It has some cool things in it. We’d be disappointed if you missed out on some of them.

Let us know if you have any confusing messaging that makes it feel like it requires a different license, as it’s definitely intended for everyone.

OK, I upgraded to the latest version now. I opted to do a “merge” when prompted on my iMac, since it said I had newer portions in Layout and I didn’t want to lose those. The version # in both is 19.2.221.

During the upgrade it was clear enough, but with all the talk of going to an annual subscription model, or else losing functionality, and relatively no talk about features in the subversions, it seemed to me that there was no real reason to upgrade. Glad to see I was wrong and it just added features & corrected bugs. Everything seems to work as before.


Great to hear!

Dear Doug.

I posted a piece on the forum a couple of weeks ago along these same lines (Classic vs Subscription) with an invitation to my ‘partners’ at "SketchUp HQ’ to clarify my value to them as a long time user and promoter of the product and brand. SketchUp HQ was conspicuously quiet on the matter. Any chance you could have a look and respond for the benefit of all us ‘Classic’ license users.

Kind regards, Craig

True - Use of as opposed to ownership is the key. When ‘use of’ expires at the end of the year though, ownership seems to have some benefit. As has been shown however, is, after about 3 and a bit years of ‘use of’, there is a significant financial disincentive to be one of the ‘use of’ subcribers compared to the classic license + maintenance ‘subcribers’.