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August 13, 2014

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Since the Revit 2015 live online help lists all of these features as being available in the "Subscription Advantage Pack," tell the Suits to give us a date that the "value to the committed customers" will be released!! Hahaha.

-AM

It's really simple: if you can't comment on a release date or specific features, simply say that it's company policy. Blaming it on "regulatory controls" is just b.s. You think you're passing the blame, but that Autodesk company line is b.s. and its embarrassing that Autodesk continually uses it.

Well, you asked (kind of)...

http://www.pwc.com/us/en/technology/assets/software-revenue-recognition-gaap.pdf

Page 12 is what you're looking for, covering revenue recognition rules under US Generally Accepted Accounting Practices (GAAP). Quoting:

"The key for a vendor is knowing what causes
a roadmap to constitute a promise to deliver a specified upgrade or future product. If a roadmap provided to a customer in the context of a current transaction implies a promise to deliver a specified upgrade, then revenue is generally deferred until the specified upgrade is delivered.

To help software companies navigate the fine line of not providing specified upgrades when using roadmaps, a set of “dos” and “don’ts” have been developed. To avoid creating a specified upgrade promise, vendors should:

• Issue roadmaps in trade-show-type events
to a broad audience
• Issue roadmaps that have more general
information on future items that might be
considered for development
• Include disclaimer language clearly stating
that any items in the roadmap are subject to
change at the vendor’s sole discretion and
the vendor has no obligation to deliver the
future items.

Vendors generally should not:
• Attach roadmaps as an appendix to or reference the roadmap in a current licensing transaction
• Include certain specific detailed information, such as product names and expected release dates
• Make comments that the items, if developed,
would be available to existing users"

Call it b.s. if you like. Product managers have less kind words for the restriction, but that's the regulatory environment in which we function.

Thanks, I'm aware of US GAAP - I was well aware that's what you were referencing because it's the same b.s. I've been hearing from Autodesk for the last ten years any time someone brings up beta software, new features, etc.

No major software developer in their right mind, regulations or no regulations, indicates specific release dates until the release date is concrete. That's well understood just for practical purposes. However, all we have to do is look at the numerous software companies that *do* release beta software and detailed road maps, including general time frames. That Autodesk often doesn't (or only under "secret" NDA beta testing) is Autodesk's business, but don't blame GAAP.

BTW, page 12 concludes:
"Of course these are general guidelines. Companies typically have established policies and/or processes and have regular education sessions with sales teams in order to deal with the use of roadmaps."

The "regulations" _are_ there for good reasons, but they do allow for some common sense when discussing future products and upgrades. What Autodesk lawyers and accountants have _really_ told you is that you can't be trusted to use common sense, so just use GAAP as an excuse not to talk about *anything*... to the point where you sound like a paranoid nut. The whole "we can neither confirm or deny" such and such routine just makes you look like a bunch of loons.

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