I have been on here in the past and have been flamed by several SW employees that are no longer with Solidworks and have since jumped ship to OnShape or other Cloud CAD systems. If it's not the Employees it's the users flaming me for saying anything negative, but if the combination of SWW being rebranded to 3DX World and the BIG push from Dassault to franchise their 3DX software to all of us die-hard Solidworks users, then you are burying your head in the sand. Guess what that won't make it go away.
Jim Ray told several of us on the Midway during the last CSWP event (because now its the CSWE event only) that the plan was to Phase Solidworks out to a cloud base software in 5 years. Several us that heard this blew up on the forum about this. Jim had nothing to lose because the next day at the General sessions it was announced he was stepping down and Bertrand Sicot was the CEO. Since that SWW in San Deigo (1st time which was 2012 I think) this push from Dassault has gotten worse ever since. Now they rebranded SWW... Solidworks may not ever go away, but I think in time we will be forced to make a choice. Either it will come down to the fact they don't want to put any more money into Support for new enhancements and we will be stuck with the way it is, or they will do like they did with Draftsight. They may force us to switch the next time we pay our subs or if we choose not to pay and decide we would rather stay with an older version of SW, they cut us off completely in a year unless we pay.
I don't know what the future holds, but I am telling you Dassault has been pushing since 2012 and it's upon us to keep Solidworks alive. Most of the younger Engineers think that Social media and sharing company data is the way Engineering should be. I disagree, too many thieves looking to make a quick buck. It won't take much for someone with a cold heart to steal a young Engineers' hard work and quickly turn it around for their profit. It used to be a lot harder when I was young to do that, even harder when my father was working in the field. Sharing data to multiple people through a PC... Has no learned from the MTV show "Catfish", come on this is the prime example of not everyone is who you think they are on the other end. Here is another example that anyone can be on the other end of a PC assuming a different name. Which is how I found out my first wife was cheating me... I was "her" for a little while online and the man she had been seeing behind my back thought I was her and the conversation got very detailed... And we know how the rest of that story went.
Someone's idea may not have been stolen yet, but it will happen someday, and someone will find a way, as nothing is full proof even the cloud.
I still firmly believe Jim Ray back in 2012 that this will be the end-all plan for Solidworks, it was not in the 5-year timeline that he talked about. It might have been because of the few failed launches they had on SW Industrial\Mechanical (sorta sounds like AutoCAD years ago when making the jump to 3D from 2D to compete with SW). It might also be because Jim let the cat out of the bag when he wasn't supposed to. I don't know what the reason may have been but I do feel that this day is sooner than we think.
I hate to see a great product like Solidworks (Dassault red-headed step-child) be trampled over by a product that is riding on its coattails and will stop at nothing to win. I am beating on Red and have been since 1995 and Blue is my favorite color. I would love to see some big company come in and buy Solidworks back and turn it in the empire it was supposed to have been, similar to AutoDesk. Rewrite the foundation of Solidworks to utilize the CPUs of today taking advantage of hyperthreading and multi-cores that we all desperately want to see in everyday use of Solidworks. Buying it back and doing all that would be a massive undertaking. However, if Dassault wanted to convince me that SW is staying around, then I would need to see that done because without it SW will fall behind and we won't have a choice but to switch to stay caught up. However, before I blindly just switch to a Dassault product I will look at all my alternatives, not just Dassault's solution. I would follow SW as a loyal user, but not Dassault.
"All things must pass" - Which means "Nothing lasts forever" - It is what it is...
Let the flaming begin!