Autodesk, the supplier of AutoCAD in the UK, has attempted to quash widespread rumours of a massive hike in the cost of obtaining the computer design packages.
The firm is determined to bring to an end rumours that the price of subscriptions could be about to rise by as much as 77 per cent.
Stories have appeared on websites within the past two weeks warning that the cost of both subscription renewals and upgrades is set to soar during the next 12 months.
One observer claimed that if customers choose to upgrade from AutoCAD 2002 to AutoCAD 2005, the price will jump by more than three-quarters.
Despite denying the largest cost increase, Autodesk has admitted that its British customers face a series of cost jumps.
Claiming that the price rises will bring Britain in line with the rest of Europe, the company told the AJ that its recommended retail price of AutoCAD upgrades will increase from £300 to £440, with subscriptions going up from £250 to £310.
Mark Paraskeva, northern Europe vice-president of Autodesk, attempted to justify the increases, insisting that the company was attempting to iron out a pricing anomaly.
'Historically, the UK has enjoyed particularly favourable pricing, ' he said. 'The reality is that customers in the UK have been receiving an outstanding deal. Unfortunately we now need to make this change to keep prices consistent with other countries around the world.' Paraskeva also insisted that British practices would see the benefits of an improved service as a result of the imminent rise in prices.
'Autodesk has always invested heavily in research and development and has now stepped up to an annual product release cycle, where each release offers significant additional power and functionality improvements, ' he claimed.
'Our customers are demanding this functionality for the sole reason that it will improve their productivity and output, and they continue to derive great benefits from the use of our products, ' he claimed.
'The important thing is that, with a subscription, users can still keep their software current and get the benefits of the improvements in every release for around 9 per cent of the cost of the product.
'This is still less expensive than most of our competitors, ' Paraskeva added.