Home License Limitations and Service Maintenance renewal cost

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Prashant
Prashant on 7 Jul 2020
Edited: Prashant on 25 Jul 2020
So I purchased Matlab Home license last year only to find out that the license does not include Embedded Coder which was one of my key requirements. Since then every once in a while i will run into some kind of limitation hindering / delaying my projects. Today when i opened my Matlab application and wanted to install a add-on package but the app store refused to open saying my "service maintenance" has expired and wants to charge me ~200 AUD + $40 per addon which is almost 50% of the amount i paid for this license which i find is rediculious. Its like paying fee to access google app store before i can actually buy any app. I am starting to get really frusted with Mathworks cost model and am beginning to see why social media is filled with posts and videos titled "Alternatives to Matlab".
From computation point of view there is no added benifit of using Matlab over any open source project like GUI octave and the true value of this product comes from its extensive app library (paid and free). Having paid hundreds of $$ for a perpetual home license i expect "perpetual" access to the add ons that I have paid for as well as the one available to Matlab users for free but now that my maintenance is expired, I will not be able to do so. Also, I suspect that if i have to install Matlab on a new computer, I will loose all the free add-ons currently installed on my computer. This is pethatic and i hope Mathswork sales team will rethink what they wish to achieve with the "home license" product.

Accepted Answer

Walter Roberson
Walter Roberson on 8 Jul 2020
i expect "perpetual" access to the add ons that I have paid for as well as the one available to Matlab users for free but now that my maintenance is expired, I will not be able to do so.
You do have perpetual access to what you have paid for. You paid for a copy of a particular release of MATLAB, and for toolboxes for that release. You did not pay for perpetual updates to MATLAB or the toolboxes.
You can download most of the free add-ons from the File Exchange if the Add-On Manager is for some reason not working for adding the free content.
Also, I suspect that if i have to install Matlab on a new computer, I will loose all the free add-ons currently installed on my computer.
Your Home license is valid for installation on one computer. A limited number of times per year, you can permanently transfer it to a different computer. When you do that, the license gets associated with the new computer, and which add-ons and toolboxes you can access goes along with the license.
Any toolbox that you have paid for can be installed with the Installer; installing paid toolboxes with the Add-On Manager is a nice touch that just invokes the installer on your behalf. Even if you no longer have a support contract, when you use the installer and log in and indicate your license, then you will be permitted to download up to the last version of the toolbox that you paid for.
i hope Mathswork sales team will rethink what they wish to achieve with the "home license" product
Mathworks spends a lot of money on software development. They have roughly 5000 employees; I estimate that roughly 2/3 of those are involved in development (including documentation and testing.)
Student users expect MATLAB to be free. Home users expect MATLAB to be free. A lot of Educational users expect MATLAB to be free.
Is it fair to put all of the costs for developing and maintaining MATLAB onto the commercial / professional users?
I pay more than $A200 per year just for subscriptions to administrative tools to keep my Windows systems in working order -- and I don't do much Windows work. That excludes any compiler licenses (Microsoft tells me I am not eligible for the VS Community editions because I purchased "Microsoft Office for the Home and Family" twice in a 30 year span, and so accidentally hit lifetime license limits before they consider you to be a commercial developer. The least expensive VS option available to me is over $A10000 per year.)
Software does not write itself. Software does not automatically adjust itself to new operating systems. Someone has to pay for the continued efforts to refine the product; you are a user of the product, and if you want to be able to user later versions of the product than what you paid for, you should be expecting to pay money.
  4 Comments
Walter Roberson
Walter Roberson on 10 Jul 2020
Dongles are a real pain to work with in corporate environments, and even for serious home users. They proliferate, but computers do not have enough ports to have one dongle for each major software package.
My 10 USB ports are already full, and I need more ports; I am having to plug and unplug devices already.
Dongles cannot be centrally managed. And There is no common standard between vendors that would permit multiple licenses from different vendors to be stored on the same dongle.
When dongles are not getting lost, they also break.
For corporate work, it is more common to be moving to security identification devices that permit users to uniquely identify themselves to devices they log in at, at which point the license rights stored on the license server are accessed.
One problem with dongles is that students pass them around, since most of them just authenticate that a license exists, rather than authenticating that the active user is the authorized user of the license.

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