So, the expected other shoe drops. Classic license is discontinued?

I’m up for a boycott… Starting now.

Spot on, for me a bet that will lose me at least if not rescinded.

You can get 24 years of SketchUp subscription for 1 license of Archicad, without maintenance. With maintenance, 20 years. Maintenance + upgrades is 960 €/year (about 3 x SketchUp subscription).
We are talking two totally different products.


I thought I would contribute, as a Commercial SU self-employed/sole trader user since 2013 (£391 / $500), since then I’ve paid £115 / $150 every year, which I found reasonable enough. My usage is likely around half a day a week on average, the remainder is using CAD (building design and construction)

Over all, I’m likely to stick with SU against my better judgement, because I don’t have the time to firstly find, assess and then learn new 3D software. Being self-employed, time really does equate to money.

I’m going to opt for the 2 years subscription within the next 24 hours, as the discount rate ends in a few days (24th Sept 2020, UK), which works out at £228 (or £115 per year).

I’ve spoken to my S/W dealer recently and he did mention:

  • The new subscription model will be £282 / $360
  • They are having an internal meeting soon as there is a chance that the discount offer rate is going to be extended.
  • Running classic and subscription models simultaneously has been a pain.
  • Apparently non-profit licences will become like student licences.
  • There is no practical educational model for large volume users - as the subs model requires an email address for each install, and teenage or pre-teenage users are not likely to have an address (though some secondary schools do set this up for pupils). It would also be a pain to administrate.
  • I will apparently not lose functionality (VR, Geo-map, etc.)

Personally, it would have been nice to see justification for a higher annual cost - going from £115 to £282 is a little disappointing without seeing any actual benefit. I haven’t seen significant performance improvements for some time, I would sincerely hope that before my 2 year subscription is over, some improvements were made.

Like many, I’m not enthusiastic on the subscription model, to my mind there are two reasons why they’ve chosen this route, 1) Short of cash or 2) Want more profit. Then I suppose option 2 extends to 2A) Want money for their own wallet or 2B) Need the money to invest in the S/W. I sincerely hope it’s 2B, but of course no one can know unless they’re actually within the Sketchup/Trimble department…and if they divulged the truth, it would not reflect well on the company and impact confidence of current or potential users.

I noted on the website today, it said, “The last day to buy a SketchUp Classic (Perpetual) license and Maintenance & Support renewal will be November 4, 2020. Please be aware that if you purchase a Classic license today, you will not be able to upgrade the Maintenance & Support.”

I very much welcome comments or corrections.

(note all costs have included UK Tax/VAT @ 20%)


The Educational network license is still available after 4 nov. 2020. That includes LayOut, but not the 'fancy’stuff, as you have mentioned…

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Thank you for correcting me on that.

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Well, the deed is done - funny how there’s very little waffle when you actually give them real money, unlike the marketing.


Hi @bikerchris

Hoping you can help me.

I am looking to covert my Classic License to Subscripton, (Maintenance would have been due in February).

Can I ask how you get the 2 Years with the discount, and also how to convert the Classic to Subscription.

It’s £528 (inc VAT) for two years, from the Software company I used to buy Sketchup and Maintain it

Kind regards


Exactly, all the garbage about subscriptions being a “challenge” to them is complete nonsence. All it is, is a method to generate a guaranteed income stream for Trimble, regardless of whether or not the “upgrades” have any useful value. As an architect, now recently retired, having bought Sketchup Pro way back in 2001, and having had it on a maintenance agreement all this time, I am disgusted with this change which means, if my OS changes and is no longer able to run my current 2020 Pro version, I am blackmailed into a subscription just to access my own 19-year history of Sketchup work - like when I guest speak at local high-schools, colleges, etc. telling kids and students about architectural and engineering work. What a great way to treat long-time loyal clients like me who have promoted this software to multiple professional colleagues over the years.

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Hi Michael,

I used cad soft solutions, a UK company (do google as I’m not sure about how this forum feels about external links) and they were able to give me the option, try them perhaps? I noted on the SU website there is no mention of discounts to classic License users.

Best of luck and wishes,


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It’s certainly a poor way to treat customers, in your case it may be best to continue with your non-subscription copy and run it until it runs no more. In addition, you may wish to ‘image’ your drive, so that in the event of a failure, you need only replace the failed component and put the image back on, all files, setting and program authorisation *should remain.

I hope that helps and that you’re able to gain the interest of many kids and students in the future, they need inspiring for sure.

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I’ve noticed some of the UK resellers are offering 2 and 3 year subscriptions at discounted rates but not as good as yours @bikerchris

If you opted for a multi-year subscription you’d want to be confident that SketchUp will be dealing with the issues and introducing new features during that time!

The recent updates seem promising…?


I’m in a similar boat to you Thom, seeing SketchUp in 2001, buying a Pro license and maintenance for me back then plus a number of additional seats for my company over the years, all on maintenance too. I agree with what you say and am utterly disgusted with Trimble now attempting to force everyone onto a subscription. Why can’t they offer subscriptions to new users and let us long-time loyal customers continue with our perpetual licenses on maintenance? Oh, hang on, that probably won’t make enough money and, I really don’t think they care about their clients anyway. I’m retired now but don’t want to lose access to my 19 year history of SketchUp work for when I speak at high-schools and colleges and/or do a very little part-time consulting work. A 200% increase in price for a subscription over what I was paying for maintenance, after paying full price for a Professional seat, is pretty pathetic.


You got a great discount for nearly two decades without a price increase. Not bad! You think Trimble can survive if they don’t raise prices decade after decade?

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That was the mistake. They should have increased it 5% per year instead of trying to double the price after no increases for a long time.

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Your comment completely misses the point. I, and the rest of us who bought the Professional version, got no “…discount for nearly two decades…” When the software was released back in 2001 there was a free version for personal use and a Professional version for business use. I tried the free version, realized it had potential, took a chance on new software and immediately bought the Professional version, in spite of its issues, up front, paying hundreds of dollars for it and for the additional seats I bought for my company. I also participated in giving feedback to the guys in Boulder CO developing it. Then, I paid maintenance for nearly two decades on all of the seats I bought to keep them up to date. Over that time there have not been major, earth-shattering improvements in the software, certainly, some improvements but, after all this time, we still can’t create true arcs and larger models become very slow and unwieldy, even on fast machines. However, for quick, sketch-design concept modeling early in design, it is absolutely wonderful. To now come and claim “…challenge accepted…” and that they are now changing to a subscription model to benefit us users is such complete and utter nonsense it is laughable. As others on this thread have said, there is now little incentive for improvements because, on a subscription, one must pay regardless to access one’s own work. Those of us paying clients who have decades of work in the system are now thrown under the bus and have a gun to our heads because, if we don’t buy a subscription and Windows changes and won’t run the software, we won’t even be able to access our own history of work. As a comparison, I am also a photographer and I have the Adobe Photography plan subscription which gives me both Photoshop and Lightroom, both very complicated and sophisticated software, for $12 per month, i.e. $144 per year, that I use every day. Sketchup however is a tool that I and the architects I know who use it, do so only initially in concept design, typically for a short time at the beginning of a project, then not again until the next project, doing production work in AutoCAD, Revit, etc. SketchUp’s subscription will cost double what I am paying for both Photoshop and Lightroom - which is pretty much out of touch. If their business planning was so poor that they couldn’t figure out that perhaps they should build in small increases over the years to maintenance, that doesn’t say much about them. Fortunately I am basically retired now and I will not take out a subscription at the so-called “discounted” price and lose my perpetual license. I will attempt to keep it running on my Windows machines as long as I can and hope that, when it finally dies, I will no linger be speaking at schools and colleges and no longer need it. If they want to go to a subscription with new clients or offer current clients the possibility to change to a subscription, that’s fine but, to attempt to force existing clients to do so is unacceptable. They should come to clients like me who paid up front for the software and paid for maintenance every year for nearly 20 years and offer a reasonable increase in a “maintenance” price and allow us to continue as we have with our perpetual license.


You still have a Classic license, on Windows, it should work for another 20 years. You have access to all your work through that, or via the Web-based version. That said…

I work for the distributor, aka ‘the channel’. We often get requests like this. A ‘Lifetime Award License’ would be nice.

How cool would it be to start SketchUp in front of some students, fire up SketchUp and have something like this in the Welcome Screen:


@Mark @LadyPrism @michellelw

There is a ‘Non-profit’ program…


When the software was released by @Last Software back in August 2000 there was no free version but SketchUp Pro only. The free version was released by Google with version 6 in 2007 (after acquiring @Last in 2006).

You’re absolutely right Paul, and if I had more time I would probably consider the matter more extensively. Unfortunately though I’m a ‘one man band’ and can only devote so much time to what I suppose are business decisions.

I will definitely re-evaluate near the end of the 2 year subscription I’ve now paid for, though I’m not sure in which direction I would go. I’m not willing to learn anything too diverse, though as I already use Cad, I might give the 3D function another spin - last time I tried it wasn’t very pleasant. I found sketchup to make an otherwise technical job, quite enjoyable - however if they drop the ball and fail to provide any reasonable updates and improvements, I may even farm out my 3D work if needed.

Thanks for the information, my mistake then, it was nearly 20 years ago when I started using it and I thought the free version was available earlier. I remember now that they offered a free trial version, which I downloaded and tried, saw the potential it had, bought the Professional version personally and a number more seats for my company over the years, and kept everything paid up and on maintenance to keep it all up-to-date. I fail to see why Trimble cannot offer those of us who have been with the company so long a reasonable increase to our maintenance agreement so we may stay current with our software and perpetual licenses. I had planed to keep paying until I fully retired, which may be 2 to 5 years or so and I still think that what they are doing to us is pretty disgusting.