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Autodesk grants free software access to schools worldwide

by Mark Tyson on 2 December 2014, 10:50

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Autodesk announced Monday that it has decided to make its products free to students and academic institutions around the globe. This is in addition to a previous US initiative; the company already made its software free to middle and high school students as part of the ConnectED program created by President Obama.

Autodesk's new offer also gives institutions the same free access, so instructors and staff can gain access to its suite of software in schools. The action will make Autodesk software, including AutoCAD, Sketchbook, 3DS Max, Maya and more, free and accessible to around 680 million students and educators across 800,000 secondary and post-secondary schools in 188 countries for use in classrooms, labs and at home, the company said.

"The way we make things is changing rapidly, and we need a workforce ready to design for new manufacturing and construction techniques. By providing free professional design tools to students, faculty members and academic institutions around the world, we're helping get industry ready for the next phase," said Carl Bass, CEO, Autodesk.

By making software available for schools and students, Autodesk will be banking on training millions of young people with the skills needed to become familiar with its interface and make use of its tools in enterprise settings once they graduate. In the long run, this could result in workplaces favouring its software for company-wide use, which should benefit the company a great deal more than any licensing fees it's giving up in the short-term.

The strategy is also behind the reason that Apple, Microsoft, and other tech firms offer their own discounts and incentives to students. It is worth noting that students will not be allowed to use Autodesk apps for commercial projects, one of the major restrictions which comes with the free software. However, the deal soundly beats the software discounts offered by Adobe, Autodesk's closest competitor.



HEXUS Forums :: 6 Comments

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That is some fantastic news if you are eligible. Sadly since I'm not with a uni and I'm doing job specific qualifications then I doubt I will be eligible. But my flat mate is doing games design so perhaps we could organise it so I can use it but he may use my computer for it. Maya supports CUDA and he has an AMD card, unlike me! That's allowed… Right ? :p
Autodesk phoned me out of the blue in April (IT tech in a middle school - we still have them up here), so it wasn't American only. I assumed there was some catch, but nope, site license, full 2013 master suite or creation suite, nothing to pay now or later.

Working in education, where bespoke educational software seems to cost about 10x what its worth, and nothing comes free (other than Google Apps) I was staggered.

I don't think the home aspect was available in the original offer though.

Top marks Autodesk. Top marks.
this_is_gav… the catch is simple…. offer programs to schools to free so that future business clients have to buy autodesk software because that's what their staff are trained in. Autodesk are heading down rental only approach like adobe so get in early etc.

There are plenty of alternatives that are as good or better than Autodesk's offerings that come in cheaper so this is them keeping their status as the ‘defacto’ software.

It's part of the reason Adobe doesn't care too much about how much Photoshop gets pirated, they see it as getting the next generation of users and keeping their ‘monopoly’. Not that there are many alternatives annoyingly.

And since when has Autodesk and Adobe competed with one another…. they cater for completely different fields.
LSG501
this_is_gav… the catch is simple…. offer programs to schools to free so that future business clients have to buy autodesk software because that's what their staff are trained in. Autodesk are heading down rental only approach like adobe so get in early etc.

Oh yes, I ‘m aware of that, but it’s still refreshing to see.
this_is_gav
LSG501
this_is_gav… the catch is simple…. offer programs to schools to free so that future business clients have to buy autodesk software because that's what their staff are trained in. Autodesk are heading down rental only approach like adobe so get in early etc.

Oh yes, I ‘m aware of that, but it’s still refreshing to see.
Personally I'd rather see Autodesk make some actual improvements to some of their programs, 3ds max doesn't seem like it's had any beneficial changes for the last 5 years lol.