In my interview with Callan Carpenter, VP of Subscription at Autodesk, I asked a question that didn’t really receive a reply. I asked, “Will you ever stop providing keys or activations for older versions of your products?” to which Callan replied, “We have no plans presently to change our current policy of supporting the current and 3 prior versions of our products.” So I posed the question to Callan again and asked him to clarify whether Autodesk would continue to provide activation keys for older versions of their products which are retired and not supported anymore. Here is the clarification:
We have no plans to change our current policy with regard to issuing keys or activations for older versions. For subscribers, the policy is as I stated during our first interview: we will reissue keys for the current version of the software, or for up to three versions back assuming the customer has access to those older versions through the Subscription “prior version usage” benefit. For non-subscribers, our general policy is to issue keys for older software versions with legitimate serial numbers as long as we are technically able to do so.
For those who do not know about this “prior version usage” benefit that subscription customers get, here is something you may find interesting. If you were on subscription and did not previously own an earlier version of the product, you could not get a key for the earlier version. For example, say if you purchased a subscription for AutoCAD 2009 and for some reason you wanted to use AutoCAD 2006 you could not do so. Autodesk changed that policy and now you can get free CD’s or DVD’s and keys for up to three versions prior to the current version, irrespective of whether you previously owned licenses for them or not. Autodesk even offers support for the older versions that you previously never owned, which I think is great. You can even use a mixture of old and new versions as long as the total number of seats does not exceed the number of subscription licenses.