That is an interesting point.
If the developers of extensions don’t find it economically useful to continue supporting them, that will hurt Pro users as well. That does worry me a bit.
Of course I don’t know the stats about how much free users pay for extensions. Maybe its not as much as I expect.
I would expect Trimble to be working on a monthly or Quarterly subscription system for SketchUp Pro so home users can still use Pro for a single project when required. There’s hopefully some middle ground between Free and Pro…right now the gap is very large.
And that is exactly the point. Trimble is expected to supply and support a product that provides them no revenue and instead actually costs them so that plugin developers can sell their extensions and make money. Strikes me as entitlement.
I expect the majority of SketchUp users who purchase most of the commercial extensions are pro users.
I don’t know the exact statistics but surveys have shown a larger majority of Make users don’t even use extensions (not even free ones). On the other hand an equally large majority of Pro users do use extensions. Even the Make users that use extensions are much less likely to pay for it as it wont earn them any revenue, whereas a Pro user could save a lot of money by an extension that just slightly improves the workflow. I’m not tracking my own users to get statistics but I know a few developers that do and they have all said this doesn’t bother them.
My revenue as an extension developer is the least of my worries with Make being discontinued.
AmSoCo is an American software company with a line of products at tiered price points. Each year they introduce new versions at each price point. The new versions offer more performance and more functionality. AmSoCo is a very successful company. They get a little full of themselves and one year decide to reduce the performance and functionality at one of their price points and call it progress. They lose a few customers the first year but write it off to ‘it takes time to adjust to change’. The next year they decide to make a similar move in a higher price point product. This time there is a dramatic loss of revenue. Worse, the customer base has spread the word to new potential users to stay away from AmSoCo; their products are underperforming and the company can’t be trusted to listen to the customer base.
People expect higher performance and more functionality in each new introduction of a product. When they don’t get it and fear similar behavior in the future, they vote with their feet. One should never, ever, replace a product at a price point with less functionality and performance.
Smart companies know that people do expect, and will adjust to, a higher performance and functionality at a higher price. What Trimble should have done is continue SketchUp make but increase the price to $100 - $200 and introduce SketchUp Free as an educational tool for the K-12 education market.
As to whether SketchUp Make users will pay for extensions I can tell you from my own experience that they will. The price point has to be right, but they will. One of my extensions is priced at $20 and approximately 80% of the purchases are from hobbyist SketchUp Make woodworkers. I even have one priced at $250 which is purchased by hobbyists and doing well. There are a lot of quoted surveys or statistics in this thread, but they don’t match my personal experience. I sell a lot of books and training videos on SketchUp Make. So why do we think people won’t pay a reasonable price for SketchUp Make but will pay for books, videos, and extensions? Nonsense!
By the way. My partner and I are working with a number of vocational schools. Their responsibility is to train skilled workers for the real world. The schools we have worked with have already looked at SketchUp for Schools and rejected it in favor of SketchUp Make. They need a tool that can actually represent how things are done in the field. SketchUp for Schools might do very well in K-8. But once a student is in high school, and particularly when they are in vocational school, SketchUp for Schools is not going to fit the bill.
Now, this is why Trimble should include Ruby extensions in SketchUp for Education. Imagine how inspiring it would be for students to learn to code with a real OOP language like Ruby and be able to produce useful functionality. This would really appeal to STEM students.
Gave up trying to test drive SktechUp Free after many attempts. This is what I get on IE on a Win 10 system and on a Win7 pro system. “sketchup.com is not responding due to a long running script” every 20 to 30 seconds. Just tested my internet speed and I’m running at 300 mbs down and 150 mbs up. It is midnight here so can only imagine what it will run like when every one jumps on line during the day. Not impressed by the reduced function of SketchUp Free. Please put me on a list that I hope your compiling to just sell and support the CAD section of SketchUp-Pro to the millions of wood workers, designers, and Engineering and technical types that have grown to love and use this great tool.
Have you tried it in a browser other than IE just to check if it makes a difference? (Although the very latest IE/Edge should be mostly fine.)
Has everything been updated - OS, graphics driver, IE? Try Chrome?
I mentioned the use of browser extensions as some - like AdBlock - is running in the background, snooping around even if you instruct it not to run on specific websites. That activity can get in the way.
In the short term I agree the dumping of SketchUp Make will probably not affect the sales of my plugins. However, if you look at the long term and the effect this will have on SketchUp then yes it will affect me as a developer.
People need the ability to do “real work” with SketchUp at an amateur level, at some point some of those people will become Pro customers.
I still think the right thing to do is to offer Make at a reasonable price, this would be a win-win for everyone.
There have been a few people on here thinking that Sketchup Free needs a really fast connection. Admittedly you will need a reasonable speed and it will have to be available whenever you want to use Free. The delays I see are not waiting on anything downloading. They are waiting on the program running. It uses quite a lot of CPU time for me, especially when starting up. I have quite a fast internet connection, just tested at 165Mbps down, 10Mbps up but find it hard to see much activity there when Sketchup Free is starting up. I think it peaked at 8Mbps once, but most times its hardly downloading anything at all. It is possible that it is waiting on downloading if Sketchups servers are struggling.
My CPU usage is noticable though. I get 1285% (using 13 virtual cores out of 16) for about 5 seconds, then settles down to just over 100% for the rest of the start up time. Even once I’m able to start modelling, it stays at 100% for a while, then settles down to almost nothing, like 5% even while modelling.
My GTX 970 graphics card isn’t working hard either, barely hitting 20% processor usage and about the same for its RAM.
Performance isn’t too bad at all for me. @mjeanson said it struggled with a model with 10,000 polygons so I tried one of my files which has over 1,000,000 edges and 525,000 faces. It is pretty slow to load, but once I’d got zoomed in to the model, it was quite usable, especially turning off the layer with the most polygons in it. It is much slower than Sketchup Pro on my Mac and also slower than the Sketchup viewer on my iPhone 6 which is a bit sluggish with this file but not as bad as Sketchup Free.
I’m using Safari 11.0.1, Mac OS X 10.11.6 on an 8 year old Mac Pro with 2 x 2.26GHz Quad-Core Xeons, 48GB RAM, GTX 970 4GB.