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February 22, 2007


Ray Mendoza

Thanks for clearing that up...It is always nice to know what is in the data that is sent back...

Granted your use of the word "like" when describing what is sent is a little unassuring...Maybe if Autodesk decided to have a page that tells users what is exactly shown in the reports it would be easier to swallow, but the word "like" states that "this is only part of it, and this is the only part that you need to know."

I have no problem submitting what I do with AutoCAD or any other program that I use...But there are those out there that see this an an invasion of privacy (look at what happened to Microsoft and Office a while back)...It just makes people a little uneasy...

However, I want to congratulate Autodesk in making it optional and not mandatory...It makes me happy as a user to know...

Michael Evans

You haven't got a clue, have you? Why do you suppose customers react with so much suspicion to such a frankly benign request for information? Because it's Autodesk who's asking, that's why. Autodesk, who regularly "retires" products and introduces file format incompatibilities to coerce customers to upgrade, because they know their tailfin upgrades otherwise offer little inherent value for the price. Autodesk, accused with no little justification by its competitors of pursuing a strategy of monopoly instead of competing on quality alone. I've got news for you: outside your protected, fairy-tale Shangri-La up there in San Rafael, a lot of people think it's Autodesk's fondest wish to impose, enforce, and collect a giant CAD tax on anyone who even thinks of using CAD on a PC, without ever having to develop another line of code, ever. IMHO your company has a huge public relations problem of which it is blissfully unaware - or, more likely, arrogantly dismissive. You yourself, personally, likely are not evil, but to claim that the company for which you work is not evil is, I think, grossly at odds with public perception.

Does that clear it up for you?

PS - I see these comments are subject to "approval." I bet you'll delete this one, but I dare you not to just to prove me wrong. If you allow it to be posted, congratulations in advance.

Scott Sheppard

Dear Michael:

1. I have got a clue. That's exactly why I entitled the article as I did. Otherwise it could have been entitled: Autodesk Design Review 2008 Customer Improvement Program Overview to be consistent with the other Autodesk Design Review articles I have posted. I recognize the problem. I am trying to show that it is unfounded.

2. We retire products to keep our support costs down. Imagine what the cost of our products would be if we still were issuing patches for AutoCAD R12. We offer our products on subscription to make annual costs predictable.

3. We introduce file format changes based on functionality. Believe me, ask anyone in QA if they like file format changes. It doubles their work. They get to test the new format and the old "Save As" format as well. No one likes file format changes.

4. Thank you for recognizing that I personally am not evil, but the company is a collection of people just like me.

5. I have the "approval" process on this blog to prevent spam. I get comments where people try to sell Viagra. I post all non-spam comments unedited.

Thank you for your comments. This is a blog after all. That's why comments are enabled. The point of my post is that we're not collecting any data that I would be embarrassed for someone to find out that we were collecting. So users can participate in our CIP process if they would like to obtain better software from us.

Michael Evans


Thanks for the reply - just for the record, let me clarify. By "retire," I was referring more to revocation of the purchaser's ability to obtain upgrades at upgrade pricing, instead of having to buy an entirely new license. (The only Autodesk support resource I really ever use is the Knowledge Base, which still has articles pertaining to R12.) Of course, it's understood that the upgrade pricing is scaled to the number of releases being skipped, so that at some point it should reach the cost of a new license, but abruptly cutting users off after 4 or 5 releases seems draconian - compare this with Bentley's policy. I can tell you that when I informed my boss a few years ago that we would need to upgrade our R14 licenses to R2002 or else the ability to upgrade would be revoked, he was appalled - his response was "But this is America!" - his comment, not mine.

Nevertheless, I infer from your reply that you are more involved in product development than in marketing or customer relations, so my comments probably aren't too effective.

Thanks again,

Michael Evans

Denny Fisher

Just downloaded dwf, I can't open a file, what am I doing wrong?

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