Same SketchUp you love, a new way to buy

Easier than walking from the Pearl Street Mall to campus. When it’s 100 degrees F.

Anyhow, you are doing it now, so how tough can it be to continue?


No one can be worse, or more draconian or more expensive than AutoDesk.

I have no intention of trying to prove it. It’s common sense. We all bought the “perpetual license” product with the understanding that we would be able to purchase upgrades (or not) when they became available. Nobody would have bought the product otherwise. It didn’t have to be overtly written in the terms and conditions because it was obvious. In the legal world, they call that an “implied term.” Almost every contract has them. Look it up.


Yes I agree it would have been simpler for users for Trimble to offer ongoing M&S at the same rate as Subscription.
I would expect most commercial users to upgrade every year (ie, continue their M&S payments) anyway. The loss of a perpetual license (even though you were going to pay M&S anyway) is a perception thing…it’s like how gun owners get annoyed by the idea of registering their guns.

It might turn our that 2020 will become the new 2017, because everybody who is shifting from perpetual will still keep the 2020 license, but also now have a seperate subscription. Does this mean those perpetual licenses can be sold/transferred?

Maybe $300/yr is too expensive and Trimble will be forced to EITHER release an amazing 2021/22022 update, OR reduce the Sub cost.

Seems odd though to the huge customer base who all seem to be saying:

  • I own $600 of software & I pay $150/year
    changing to
  • My $600 value is now effectively $0 and I pay $300/year instead of $150

That’s never going to be perceived as a good deal, I would have liked to see Trimble doing the following:

  1. Give plenty of advance notice of the change in policy & price increase. (not sure if this happened as i havent been paying attention).
  2. Give lots of notice of future areas of focus and upcoming improvements to justify why people should give up on their perpetual license.
  3. Maybe phase it in over a few years if possible make sure a lot of updates are talked about and promoted.

Especially #2!


Mike, as a SketchUp Sage, you seem to be missing a lot here, hopefully you’re not intentionally being ignorant?

  • The annual subscription is virtually 250% the cost of the historical annual M&S.
  • Once you’re in the subscription model, you’re locked in, stop paying (for whatever reason) and you will not be able work on or use your old work from that point on (keep in mind this is for a commercial environment).
  • In the long run subscription is a lot more expensive, do a cost analysis of the subscription costs versus perpetual licence plus M&S - not looking so good in the long run, is it? Subscription (10 year) = $2990 (excluding any annual increases); Perpetual (10 year) = $1775 (excluding any annual increases). Subscription (5 year) = $1495 (excluding any annual increases); Perpetual (5 year) = $1175 (excluding any annual increases). So unless you have no plan to use SketchUp beyond a few short years, you’re worse off on the subscription licence.

I know all the extra carrots the subscription offers will be held up next. Take a look at the thread Matt Donley (Master SketchUp) started with the votes of how many people actually use those features, yes I know the sample group is small but it is rather telling.


What I am trying to understand is what the difference is between paying each year and…paying each year.
Call it ‘Maintenance & Support’, and it’s kind of ok, call it subscription and all hell breaks loose.

Of the three arguments you give, two are about cost:

Yes, it is more expensive, would you be willing to subscribe if it was $180 a year?

The other is about not being able to work:

Now, this is interesting, for there are two kind of subscribers: The ones that never had a classic license and the ones that have and migrated their classic license.

The ‘newbies’ won’t mind, they knew it all along.
The ‘Classic’ owners can still have acces with either an extension, 3D Warehouse or had a policy to ‘Save As’ an earlier version.

And here is where it starts to get fuzzy, because not all comments in these threads reflect the same understanding about the workings of subscribing, tha cloud, their data etc. Some are even trying to riot things up with statements that are simply not true.

With my ‘ignorent’ questions, I am trying to get beyond the real pain that is obviously the reason for all the commotion.

For me, these are difficult times, since I work for a Distributor that sells SketchUp, amongst other software, but being a SketchUp user since version 4 (Bought it, upgraded it, payed a three year maintenance when Trimble took over, forgot to pay, payed additional fees etc.) so I am constantly asking myself: "Would I buy it if I was still in the business?’

So I think I can understand the real pain, but I have no other control than to report to SketchUp’s marketing or development team. Believe me, I can be a pain in the but it is always about improving the software from a user’s perspective, I hope.

For my work, I get to have access to SketchUp, all the time, btw. I do have a classic 2020 license and it will always be mine…

What the different licencing models are called was not chosen by the users. You can call it whatever you like, it is about what the licencing terms and conditions are stipulated as, isn’t it?

Don’t try to reduce this to a language / term issue. It is not.

I guess this will never be known, now would we? The users were never given an opportunity for input in this regard as roadmaps, etc. are never made public until they are put in place.

As per my math, 50% increase per year is still A LOT and would be difficultly justified given the pace of perceived development happening, but it is MUCH MUCH less than 250% per year increase.

Have you checked what happens when you MIGRATE your classic licence to subscription? You loose your perpetual licence as it has been MIGRATED to subscription. Hence further activation, beyond your subscription window, isn’t possible.

Besides, are you inferring that it is acceptable to take advantage of people because they don’t / didn’t know any better?

How can classic users still have COMMERCIAL access through an extension? You are referring to the use of SketchUp 2017 Make with the use of Eneroth’s Open Newer Version extension to open newer versions of SU files. Are you not familiar with the licencing terms? As a SketchUp Sage I’m sure you are but choose to ignore it for the sake of your argument. And what about the accompanying LO files? What tool is there for that? Yes, there isn’t one, so what do you propose then?

Present company included by the looks of it. Please feel free to address them with the persons at that time. Nothing I’ve said here has twisted the truth.

You’re going to do a lot more searching if you’re still not aware of what the commotion is obviously about.

As you’ve probably noted, I too don’t mind calling a spade a spade. But I try to be helpful at times as well, I even had a badge here that somehow disappeared, but it doesn’t bother me in the least. It’s good to see you’ve got a perpetual licence that you hold dear, we’re in the same boat there.

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For me, someone who uses SU + LO to earn a living, it’s subtle… in the mind. An (irrational?) sense that once you embark down the road of subscription, because one uses it for a living, it’s a conveyor that will be difficult to get off.

Say I’m 5 years down the road with subscription and my circumstances are that I can’t or don’t want to subscribe for a period of time… well I’m back to using 2020.

Of course the reality is that as a user (for me) having paid the M+S annually it’s not really any different from subscription apart from the increased cost. For as long as I do what I do for a living I move forward with the new SketchUp reality… :scream:

Have I missed something? What does this actually mean?

If you migrate your perpetual licence, that is take the “sweet sweet deal” of subscription with the first year being only $120 and the thereafter years at $299 (or whatever they then move the subscription to), then you relinquish your perpetual licence in favor of a discount (1 year only) of the subscription.

However, if you do not take the subscription bait (and switch) then your perpetual licence stays yours, but you’ll have to subscribe a new seat at the full asking price for that dual surety.

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I have a 2020 perpetual license.

So if I take the deal that’s it.

I won’t have a license for 2020 anymore and if I stop subscribing I have no SketchUp that I can fall back on…?!

Yeah, I’d like that answered as well. I was under the assumption that our LAST classic license was “eternal” for as long as it can run and install. Is this NOT the case?


@colin has confirmed earlier in this topic that a perpetual license which has been upgraded to a subscription will still remain usable forever for the corresponding single version of SketchUp, even if the user stops subscribing.

For example, I currently use 2018 (my active license), but have continued to pay the annual Maintenance & Support to the present day and thus I am entitled to 2020 (but I have not downloaded it). If I subscribe for a few years and then stop subscribing, I will still be entitled to use 2020 (and 2018 and 2019 etc.) forever, as I understand it.


But Julian specifically mentioned taking the “sweet sweet deal”…

Call it subscription AND raise the price by 250% and all hell will break loose.

You have to be incredibly tone deaf to not understand this.

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My understanding (from Colin’s comments in this thread on or about 5 June) is that the act of subscribing and the unsubscribing does not remove the “perpetuality” of a former classic-perpetual license. For example, say you hold a perpetual license for 2020 today. You convert to a subscription. When they become available, you start using SketchUp 2021, 2022, etc. Then you stop your subscription. You can no longer use 2021 or 2022. However, your license for 2020 should still be valid and 2020 should still work (assuming the operating system, your computer etc. enable it).

This is correct. A perpetual license was already created. Once that happens, there is no undoing that license, though it may be tied to a Trimble ID that has a Maintenance & Support agreement tied to it which entitles the owner to support and upgrades during the duration of the M&S… when that expires, the license still exists, can still be used, but for support you’ll have to rely on the forum or Help Center and you can’t “talk to a person” anymore.

In the example above from @MikeWayzovski, he owns a perpetual license for SketchUp 4 up through SketchUp 2020 (I think he said he stayed active enough throughout) and if he has a computer that can install those licenses then he could install them all.

The “sweet sweet deal” is not negating any past ownership. We’re not taking away any past ownership.

One other thing to note about cost, just looking at numbers posted in this thread, after 3 years then subscription starts to be more expensive than a perpetual + maintenance and support. While you can say its not a word/semantics issue… in many cases it is. I personally like the thought of owning my license outright. The only fear that seems relevant to me in this new scenario is that one day I might want to use my software and not be able to because the subscription lapsed and I don’t want to shell out $300 on that day to get it working again.

A good check & balance for testing value of SketchUp is… do I earn MORE than $300 a year from SketchUp? How much more do I have to make before I see value in the software? As a hobbyist, I would have a hard time justifying $300, though I’m not sure where I land on value. I would personally be more interested in a monthly price. Again, as a hobbyist, if I could look at my monthly value for the enjoyment of using the software versus Netflix, I could more easily justify a cost.

One last thought on this, as a new user coming into the “SketchUp EcoSystem” is that to kick the whole new world off, I can pay $300 today and be going, rather than the $700+ for a new user getting a license and maintenance and support. Each year I need to come up with a fresh $300 to keep using this money making application. Four years down the road, ideally, I will have gotten $1200 worth of value out of this software and kept the team making it clothed and fed and able to continue working on it.

I stand to be corrected then. That is not the way I read or understood it previously.

I’d rather wait to see what happens than take a chance and lose my perpetual licence. SketchUp has carefully worded things in the past and later turned around, when subscription was first introduced together with keeping the perpetual in place, there were concerns then already and we were told that we should not worry as they would not drop the perpetual licence in the foreseeable future. Where are we less than 2 years later? Don’t tell me a licencing model was developed and implemented without the obsolescence of the existing licencing model being roadmapped/plotted.

Is this some new policy change? Since it has always been that if you upgraded to a newer version, and have activated the newer version, you cannot load / activate the older licences from fresh again?

So, what is living your house worth to you? Assuming it is bonded, let’s increase that bond by 250%, sounds good doesn’t it? Not? But you love living your house in the neighborhood that you chose. It’s comfy, you even furnished it the way you want, you feel safe there. Isn’t that worth the 250% increase? C’mon, it HAS to be. Silly argument is silly.

There is no arguing to making it somewhat more accessible that way. It doesn’t make financial sense in the long term though, at least for the end user. I’m also one who prefers buying something outright, especially less costly things like software licences.

Are you implying that the team developing and maintaining SketchUp in past were not paid their dues? Strange that you have not been able to find other gainful employment then.

Isn’t commerce based on fair exchange? I have this for sale, here, buy it at XYZ, it took me X amount of materials, Y amount of time and skill to produce, and Z for profit margin (incl. overheads, etc.). Now we’re in the situation where we need to buy something that has yet to be produced, with no clue as to what improvements it may or may not bring. Doesn’t make sense, does it.

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I’ll need to fact check this one. Before we moved to the Maintenance and Support policy you could always continue to use your old license. You may be correct that the newer licenses only let you activate with your most current license and I’m being forgetful on that… I’ll come back and edit here once I’ve confirmed.

I feel like there is a logical fallacy in this argument, the house i live in is not the same as software I use for a living. I also don’t know what you mean by “bonded” but presume you may mean a mortgage? In any event, this feels like arguing without a real point and I’m just ignoring whatever point you’re trying to make with this one.

Please don’t put words in my mouth. I’ve said it in other threads, I’ll say it here again… I am never “Implying” anything in my responses and by stating such you’re trying to make me a villain or a liar at best. I am not implying anything but stating that I and my co-workers have a job, we get paid and if everyone bought SketchUp 2018 and used that in perpetuity without ever paying again, I and my co-workers would be out of work real fast. There are only so many new people to come along and buy the software, so as the userbase grows it only makes sense that another way to continue to support the team is possible.

This is an emotional thing for many, I realize this, and it can be hard to look at things objectively when clouded with emotion. Oversimplifying the details of how goods and services are handled trivializes the entire argument. You’re not mentioning the value that SketchUp has for a user, which is different for EVERY user.

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Yes. I have access to the classic portal, and can see whether a license is activated, or not (and on which machine)


This i what I meant with ‘where it’s get’s fuzzy’
You get to keep your classic license, it remains active, so you can move the license from one machine to another.
It will be yours to keep perpetual.
so basically, you have two licenses: The classic and the subscription.
If you stop the (migrated) subscription, you are left with the classic, like now.
You may use this commercially.

As stated above, incorrect.

Because they get to keep the classic license, which includes LayOut and StyleBuilder. (don’t forget to save as a lower version)

Well, the above proves that some things aren’t clear enough for everyone. I will state one more time:

You get to keep your classic license. (the version which is active at the time you migrate)
The Subscription starts the moment you migrate.
You get to keep the classic license, once you stop subscribing.
It may be use in full potential, commercially etc. (of course, without the :carrot: )
Once your classic license is used for the migration promo- offer, it cannot be used again for another promo.