There have so many posts been written about the perpetual license. But one thing has been unsure for me. Moving licenses between machines keeps worrying me. Because machines tends not to be perpetual. What happens when a machine crashes (or needs to be replaced) and you want to up the license to a new one when it is perpetual?

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If you are sticking with the Classic license you should make sure to keep a copy of the e-mail they sent you with the license info so that you can add the license when you install SketchUp on a new machine. Make sure you remove the license before abandoning an older computer. If you have any concerns in that line you should probably make sure you haven’t got SketchUp licensed on more than one machine so you have an available “seat” if that other machine crashes and is un-restore-able.

You would probably be smart to keep a copy of the installer in case 4 or 5 years down the road you can’t download it when you need it. Who knows how long they will keep the SU2019 installer available for download? The SketchUp team probably doesn’t even know the answer to that question.

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This probably isn’t helpful, and apologies for that. But, just in case, are you sure you need the features of Pro? SketchUp Make is eternally free, and as far as I know there are no license hassles. If you do need Pro, then sorry, please ignore.

If you looked at his profile you’d see he’s an architect so the free versions aren’t options for him.

Dave covered most things, but there was something you said I wanted to pick up on. You said “up the license to a new one”. That’s different to the remove license from old machine, add it to new machine question.

The last version of SketchUp that can be updated to, by a Classic license, is the 2021 version. If, hypothetically, you are using SketchUp 2019 but are under support until August 28th this year, you do have a 2020 license you can use, whenever you want to. If you renew the support in August, it is pretty likely that you will have a SketchUp 2021 license that is permanent. In August 2021 you can decide to stop paying us, and stay with your 2021 permanent license, or you can start subscribing to get support and use of the 2022 version of SketchUp.

For you, it might make sense to take a break from when your support runs out in the hypothetical August 28th 2021, until 2022 is released, to see if 2022 is fabulous. Just don’t be emailing me from August onwards with support questions.

Well ok, so I gotta ask…

Why has all this license confusion never really been an issue with any other software I’ve used in 25 years?

How about this? Instead of telling user after user after user after user that they need to do this and this and this and this…

Why not solve the problem at it’s source, Trimble, thus making more users confident and happy, and lifting the burden of explanations off of support? Isn’t it obvious that the billing setup is simply too complicated?

Here’s an example. Over 25 years I’ve used many different web hosts. Almost all of them billed monthly. The billing system was automated so neither customer or staff usually had to think about it. Sure, sometimes somebody had some billing issue, but it was over a small amount of monthly payment instead of a much larger yearly payment. Thus, much less stress and worry etc.

What I see all over the Net is that the staff at many websites have a tendency to think that everything is all about their system, because that is the experience the staff members are having. But the customers may be interacting with dozens of sites, plus their jobs, their personal bills, the broken washing machine, and many other details. It just doesn’t seem smart business to add to this mind space burden.

Paypal can automate monthly payments. Users can pay upfront for the coming month, and there are no refunds or discounts or anything to think about or argue about. Nothing for anyone to do or know. The money rolls in on it’s own.

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@colin Has nobody @ Trimble had any thougts about simplifying things and a bit of leeway to users? I would be very happy for example IF I could use my 2018 again on one of the licenses and to switch between them, for my vray stopped working at 2019 and Chaosgroup also started to be ransomware.
And the everlasting problems of lost licenses when crashing or moving a machine. Bloody hell, what have Trimble been thinking? Has anybody n the thinktank over there ever read Dont make me think by Steve Krug? There is no common sense at all in all of this made up complexity. And we as users suffer.

If a simplification isn’t going to happen, it might help for staff to make the official case for why licensing needs to be as it is.

As just an example, I don’t understand why SketchUp can’t simply be automatically billed monthly like any web host. And because I don’t understand, all these complications seem clunky, burdensome and not so smart. But, maybe there is a good reason for the current system and I just don’t understand it. If there is a good reason, and I understood why it is necessary, then I’d have a more supportive attitude. Just an example.

Selling is about removing obstacles to action.

  1. Subscription pricing is an obstacle, but I can see a case for it. If the price of software is jacked way up by this method then the company has more resources with which to improve the product.

  2. Yearly billing is an obstacle for which I am unable to make a case. Perhaps some businesses prefer this method of paying? Even if so, yearly billing should be optional, not required.

  3. Licensing hassles which don’t seem to exist very many other places also seem an obstacle for which I can’t make a case. But maybe staff can?

SketchUp is only now transitioning into full SaaS model by first introducing 1 year subscription and now adding more options - 2 and 3 year subscriptions and SketchUp Studio.

It is already a hassle to work with two different licensing systems and the migration between them for millions of users, so my guess is that monthly subscription options might be possible some time in the future, when all the problems have been solved.

If you can’t remove a classic license due to a machine crash or it’s stolen etc… you can contact our team to relinquish that device so you can keep your 2 machines licensed.

Let me say that I agree with most that has been written. In my opinion, protection of software should be done on OS level in a uniform way, and should not a burden to the user / reseller. But we all know that that is pretty much a fairytale :wink:

So we have to live with vendors who all choose their own authorization method. I have been selling software for over 20 years and don’t even start telling me that only Trimble is difficult to authorize. Most of our support time flows into hours of getting software to run. Hey and not only software wise, I cannot count the support cases of people buying a ‘brand new machine’ only to find out that their favorite piece of software doesn’t run on it.

This brings me to our role as local support team, which requires local funding, hence a Maintenance system is in place to make sure those hours are covered too. Is that bad? Maybe it shows that indeed software is too difficult to maintain, but let’s not fool ourselves: operating a software tool is not simply opening a can of biscuits. I know we want it to be, but it is not. Period. It is a too complex eco-system of hardware, software and people. It is complex, and it didn’t get any better these past 20 years. So brace for the future, stay productive, pay Maintenance. Get Subscription.

Unfortunately the user is often to blame as well: how hard is it to keep a copy of your serial number and authorization code, the installer executable? Be sensible about moving software from one machine to the other. RTFM, give us a call. Countless times we get requests to resend and reset codes, switch company names, switch user names, lost access to e-mails, …, …

Don’t get me wrong we are happy to help. We need to help, software requires this. All I am saying is that software is just one of the parties in this eco-system and it is not fair to lay all the blame there.

And yes, finally, Trimble is making it easier. Subscription is an easier model. Log in and out, in any version you want. It is more expensive as well, I am the first to admit. But luckily Trimble is no Autodesk… If you are able to get everything out of SketchUp, it still is an affordable tool.