“Check” Out $99 Alibre Design Standard

As you may have noticed, ever since Alibre announced their $99 offer, I have been making quite  a bit of noise about it on this blog and elsewhere. The reason for that is I truly believe this offer is a good one for many people, especially 2D users. A perpetual license for an MCAD software for just $99 is a good thing, whichever way you look at it, especially in these times. Of course, there is no 90% discount on yearly maintenance, which is optional. But like CEO Paul Grayson said in his interview, this is like an end of model year sale. We know that everyone gets a good deal at an end of model year sale. And everyone understands that they will need to pay the same normal price to maintain their car the next year.

Yesterday, someone I know had downloaded a trial from the Alibre web site and was evaluating it. He sent me a SolidWorks file saved from Alibre Design and asked me to check if it opened in SolidWorks 2009/2010. He had SolidWorks 2007 on his computer which could not recognize it. Now, I know that all versions of Alibre Design (Standard, Professional and Expert) can read SolidWorks files, but none of them can write out a SolidWorks file. So I was quite surprised that the trial could do that. Needless to say, this person was quite pleased as well. However, as it turns out, the SolidWorks export features was due to an add-on called Alibre Translate (that costs $499) which automatically gets installed and activated along with the trial. The add-on integrates so nicely into Alibre Design that a user would not notice that it is not part of the standard package unless he disables the add-on on the Add-on Manager. I pointed this out to this person and let him know that for $99 he would not be able to write out SolidWorks files.

This person got another shock when he realized that was actually evaluating Alibre Design Professional and not Standard. The trial he downloaded was of the Professional version, complete with direct editing (push/pull), sheet metal, photo realistic rendering, etc. He said to me, “But I want to evaluate the $99 Alibre Standard. Where do I download it?” Up untill then it never struck me you could not download a trial of Alibre Design Standard. At least I could not find one. So this means that this person could not experience Alibre Design Standard (more importantly, its limitations) untill he dished out $99. Actually the product installer is the same. When you enter the key you get after placing your order the Professional (trial) gets converted to a Standard (perpetual). This also means that any add-ons which are not part of the package (like Alibre Translate) will stop working once the software becomes a Standard. I pointed him to this comparison chart where everything has been nicely explained.

That exchange prompted me to write this post to remind people who have downloaded the trial to study the comparison chart carefully. I posted a question on the Alibre forum regarding the non-existence of the Alibre Design Standard trial. As of this writing there has been no reply. You may want to keep an eye on that thread as well.

This reminds me of car dealers (at least here in India) who keep only the top of the line model on display and for test drives. They even spruce it up with all the kind of fantastic accessories. So unless you study the brochure of the model that you have written the check for and clearly understand what will be missing from the car that you test drove, you may be in for a surprise when they hand you the keys.

So when I say check out $99 Alibre Design Standard, I mean that you really “check” it.

  • Alex

    True. And I did send a email to request for a Standard trial licence, and got a quick reply. Turns out it is not made available

    I suspect it can be easily generated though…

  • Alex

    True. And I did send a email to request for a Standard trial licence, and got a quick reply. Turns out it is not made available

    I suspect it can be easily generated though…

  • http://www.deskeng.com/virtual_desktop/ Kenneth

    As I discovered during my test of the trial software, it was rather confusing to figure out which features I’d retain and which I’d lose after 30 days. One of the most attractive component of the trial version is the SolidWorks export option, which will disappear when the trial period is over. A better approach, I believe, would have been to label the trial clearly as Alibre Design Professional — not Alibre Design.

    Thanks for helping me verify the exported part’s compatibility with SolidWorks 2009/2010.

  • http://www.deskeng.com/virtual_desktop/ Kenneth

    As I discovered during my test of the trial software, it was rather confusing to figure out which features I’d retain and which I’d lose after 30 days. One of the most attractive component of the trial version is the SolidWorks export option, which will disappear when the trial period is over. A better approach, I believe, would have been to label the trial clearly as Alibre Design Professional — not Alibre Design.

    Thanks for helping me verify the exported part’s compatibility with SolidWorks 2009/2010.

  • http://www.engineering.com/ Corporal Willy

    Well thank you for clearing up a few questions I had about this offer. I’m stll checking things out myself but you have cleared up some things not made very clear to me before this time. Perspective users must think along the lines of spending more for add on’s that will make their licensed copies more useful after that 30 days passes by. Within your own company I see a wonderful opportunity here but it is when you try to leave your place of business when collaborating with others using different programs that the troubles will begin. Not that it is unfixable, but those buyers should know up front that at least a few more hundred dollars will be needed per licensed copy to work with others in different companies if they are not using the same program as you are with Alibre. Still the price is very attractive at $99 dollars. It is like buying a brand new car that doesn’t have a spare tire, trunk, roof or a full tank of gas. Still it beats walking.

  • http://www.engineering.com/ Corporal Willy

    Well thank you for clearing up a few questions I had about this offer. I’m stll checking things out myself but you have cleared up some things not made very clear to me before this time. Perspective users must think along the lines of spending more for add on’s that will make their licensed copies more useful after that 30 days passes by. Within your own company I see a wonderful opportunity here but it is when you try to leave your place of business when collaborating with others using different programs that the troubles will begin. Not that it is unfixable, but those buyers should know up front that at least a few more hundred dollars will be needed per licensed copy to work with others in different companies if they are not using the same program as you are with Alibre. Still the price is very attractive at $99 dollars. It is like buying a brand new car that doesn’t have a spare tire, trunk, roof or a full tank of gas. Still it beats walking.

  • Mike

    Well, it’s quite cleary explained on the Trial Page, that the trial is with a free upgrade to ALIBRE DESIGN PROFESSIONAL for 30 days. How can anybody miss that? It’s also explained in the top of the application window…

  • Mike

    Well, it’s quite cleary explained on the Trial Page, that the trial is with a free upgrade to ALIBRE DESIGN PROFESSIONAL for 30 days. How can anybody miss that? It’s also explained in the top of the application window…

  • http://www.deelip.com/ Deelip Menezes

    Mike,

    Yes, the information is all out there. But that still does not answer the question – why does not Alibre offer a trial of Alibre Standard. Especially since they don’t even need to build another installer.

  • http://www.deelip.com Deelip Menezes

    Mike,

    Yes, the information is all out there. But that still does not answer the question – why does not Alibre offer a trial of Alibre Standard. Especially since they don’t even need to build another installer.

  • http://www.alibre.com/ Max

    We didn’t offer a Trial of Standard because we’ve never needed to before. No one ever wanted it so we never made it part of the automated process. Yes, we can easily do this, albeit manually (but instantly to the end-user). We discussed it today and if someone really wants a Trial of Standard, then we will give them one if they contact us.

  • http://www.alibre.com Max

    We didn’t offer a Trial of Standard because we’ve never needed to before. No one ever wanted it so we never made it part of the automated process. Yes, we can easily do this, albeit manually (but instantly to the end-user). We discussed it today and if someone really wants a Trial of Standard, then we will give them one if they contact us.

  • http://www.designdata.no Ragnar Thor

    You can also ask your local dealer about the Professional and Expert versions with Maintenance AND support..

  • Xime

    seems that people doesn’t read the full post.

    What is needed here is a trial for the $99 product. since the first day.

    not a trial of the “full product”. is that so difficult to understand?

  • Xime

    seems that people doesn’t read the full post.

    What is needed here is a trial for the $99 product. since the first day.

    not a trial of the “full product”. is that so difficult to understand?

  • http://www.designdata.no/ Ragnar Thor

    You can also ask your local dealer about the Professional and Expert versions with Maintenance AND support..




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