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Subscription Only?!?

I see that the new Windows version of Canvas has been released (Canvas X 2020), and it appears to be subscription only. If this is true, then I’m profoundly disappointed, and I believe is a very short-sighted move on the part of Canvas. I hope this is not also the future for Canvas Draw. I have supported Canvas since it was a desk accessory. I’ve owned every version through the final Motorola version, kept a Mac just to support that Motorola version until the Intel version of Canvas (Canvas Draw) was finally released, and immediately purchased the Intel version, and all the subsequent updates, as soon as it became available. It may be old fashioned, but I don’t rent software. I have a large library of Canvas files, and I need to know that I can access my documents in the future, at any time, without maintaining a monthly rent payment to Canvas. What’s more, I think there are others that feel the same way. As the 10,000 pound gorilla (read Adobe) has forced everyone to subscriptions, there has been significant interest among those users in finding non-subscription alternatives for all of the Adobe products. That’s where Canvas should be focusing their attention. Instead of jumping on the subscription band wagon they should be marketing themselves to the Adobe users that feel they have been forced into the subscription model because they think they don’t have an alternative - they do, but if the alternative is also a subscription, then what’s the incentive to switch? Sad to say, but if Canvas Draw goes to a subscription only product, then I can’t follow, but at least I’ll be able to continue to use my purchased version if, God forbid, that is the future of Canvas Draw…I sincerely hope it’s not.

I have also used Canvas since the first desk accessory version. I still have a Mac running OS 6.8 just so I can occasionally run Canvas X with the GIS & Analysis packs. I very willing to pay for Canvas Draw with GIS (or Canvas Mac), and I'm quite willing to pay for Canvas Draw updates, but

PLEASE don't make Canvas Draw subscription only!

Canvas Draw can be purchased outright with a Perpetual License, or as a Subscription with an option for Software Assurance with support. That's been going on a for a good while now. A post not long ago from Canvas GFX said there is no plan to go only subscription.

Well, I was afraid of this. It appears that Canvas Draw has gone over to the dark side...subscription only. I hope I’m wrong, but the website currently offers no purchase option, only annual license options. I’ve been a Canvas customer from the beginning, and over the years I’ve bought every major upgrade, and I never complained once about the upgrade pricing, but I don’t rent software. When I buy software I expect to to be able to use it for as long as I want without paying an annual ransom. What if we had the subscription model for all those years that Canvas abandoned the Mac? We were able to hang in there because we owned our licenses which means we could continue to use the software for as long as we wanted (hardware permitting). Sadly, if this is true, then when my version 6 upgrades expire then I will be done. Again, I truly hope I’m mistaken. If I’m not, then Canvas is the one who is unfortunately mistaken. 

My assumption is you do get shut down. I don’t think they can take version 6 away from me (I bought it), but any “upgrades” under the subscription model are gone if you stop paying. I’m basing this on my brief experience with the Canvas software assurance program, which I learned is just a subscription model in disguise. Shortly after I paid for the program a major upgrade was released. I confirmed with Canvas that all upgrades provided under the program are deactivated if you ever decide not renew the program. So instead, I paid full price for the upgrade and cancelled the assurance program. 

Besides Canvas Draw I also had a software assurance slash subscription for Canas X GIS which ran perfectly on VMWare. ACD Software Assurance ran out and only after I emailed GFX about it any action was taken. They didn't/don't know what to do with ACD software assurances and won't Renew them either.

Instead an offer was made for a new subscription from GFX, but 50 USB more expensive yearly. I haven't gone for it (yet) so my Canvas X just stopped. That's it.

I always thought that when a company was taken over their contracts still stand open for renewal. Guess I'm wrong there. Oh well.

I contacted CanvasGFX support last night asking about the subscription limitation, I just received this:

"Thank you for inquiring about our Canvas Draw product. Please login to your CanvasID account and go to “MY APPS”. There should an option within your account that allows you to purchase a perpetual license. Please let me know if you run into any trouble. I am able to direct sell this option to you if it does not appear in your account. - Jacob Johnson |  Business Development Representative"

Thanks, Kohanmike...I assume Jacob is referring to the options available under the "Upgrade Now" button where there is, in fact, still an option for a $125 upgrade from Canvas 5 to Canvas 6. I hate to be a pessimist, but I really didn't expect them to take away any options to upgrade the earlier versions of Canvas, so I hope his was not a convenient answer that is technically true based on the fact that Canvas 7 does not yet exist, so there is not yet an upgrade option under Canvas 6. I'll try to stay positive - maybe they intend to grandfather in existing owners - I sure hope so, but I guess we won't  know until Canvas 7 is released. 

I just had a long discussion with Jacob. That link you point out is the perpetual license, so if you buy that, the subscription ends, but he said that sometime in the future Canvas might go to subscription only like it has on the Windows side. But any version bought as a perpetual license is permanently functional even if they go to subscription only, so you have a choice of staying with a functional version that can't be upgraded, or live with a subscription that will provide upgrades for a yearly fee.

My v5 is subscription and because v6 is not functional for me, buying a perpetual now is useless. I received an email to renew my subscription for a discount, $49, so I did that just now, good until a year from April. When v7 comes out, if it's functional and can still be bought as perpetual, I'll buy it so that I'll always have an unrestricted version of Canvas Draw. If v7 is not functional, then I stay with subscription and use v5 with the idea that a functional version will ultimately happen.

I suspect I just made a mistake paying for the discounted subscription.   Doing so, it gave me a license key, so this does not seem to be the Software Assurance option which I already have paid for.  Oh well, perhaps it is a way to have Canvas Draw on a second computer, so I can have Software Assurance on my desktop and the subscription on my laptop.

It appears there has been a bit of a paradigm shift on the Canvas website. Canvas Draw has now been folded into the Canvas X moniker. No sign of version upgrades on the website unless you sign into your account. I hope Canvas knows what they are doing. My impression is that they don’t understand who their target market is. What is their competitive niche? It’s a great product that I’ve used for decades, and will continue to use as long as I can keep a Mac that will support my perpetual licenses. Canvas is a jack-of-all-trades product that is wonderful for the casual and semi-pro market, but if their plan is to go head-to-head with Adobe, then they don’t have the product depth for that. If one is to be forced to a subscription model, then why wouldn’t I choose the considerable depth that the Adobe products offer for a few extra dollars a month?

I'm thoroughly confused. It makes no sense, the X moniker is gone when it comes to Macintosh. When I last contacted Jacob Johnson, he said that in April things are going to improve on the website and with Canvas, I don't see it. My account still shows renewal 4-20-2020 just like before, and does not show that I renewed with the discount email I received from him. Using X says to me they're looking backwards, not forward. If they think that using a X label is somehow going make Canvas more attractive, I don't think so. I'm going to write him to ask "what are they thinking."

I also went to the Canvas X Draw page and downloaded what I was hoping to be the Canvas Draw v7, but what I got is a canvasx.exe file. Someone sure screwed up. I getting to a point where I can't believe anything anyone from Canvas says.

Correction... I don’t know if I missed them or they been added since yesterday, but the version upgrades are now on the website back through version 4 (for Draw).

Last night I sent an email to both Jacob Johnson and Albert Jimenez complaining about the changes, and that error with the Canvas X Draw download, now the download is correct. Hey, I just received an email from the CEO of Canvas GFX. It says to share our thoughts with the new site and branding with the team, I assume my two emails did that.

"Dear Michael,


I hope this email finds you and those close to you in good health. 


Today is a big day for us at Canvas – despite these challenging times – as we are unveiling our new brand and website


I am thrilled to be able to share it with you, and everyone in our Canvas community. 


The re-brand marks the beginning of a new stage in what has already been a long and storied Canvas journey. We're very proud of what's come before and excited about everything that lies ahead. 


Please visit the new website and take a look around. You'll notice we have realigned all of our products around our core Canvas X brand, and re-branded our geospatial product as Canvas X Geo.


As always we would love to hear what you think. Please share your thoughts with the team. 


Very best wishes from all of us here at Canvas


Pat Hume, CEO

Canvas GFX"

I certainly don’t begrudge Canvas a new look and feel, but perhaps it would have been time and resources better spent fixing version 6 of Canvas X Draw. I find it interesting that Ms. Hume points out the long and storied Canvas journey, a journey rooted in the Macintosh, but we can’t seem to get a fully functional version of Canvas Draw 6, let alone a version with a feature set on par with the Windows version. I’m reminded of the expression about putting lipstick on a pig. 

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