back to article Why Nvidia sees a future in software and services: Recurring revenue

Nvidia is repositioning itself as a software and services company, allowing it to regularly extract revenue from those using its graphics processors. "Now we're entering into a new phase, a new phase that we are thinking about software, and a business model for software to sell separately," Colette Kress, chief financial …

  1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    turn on car features, such as driver assistance, through subscription services.

    Turning *on* features like that is fine, and good luck with it.

    But turn off any feature which my car has in the showroom when I *buy* it, and I'll see you in court.

    1. Michael Habel Silver badge

      Re: turn on car features, such as driver assistance, through subscription services.

      Can you even buy a Car off the lot any more? I thought Showrooms were like Magratheian catalog rooms where you got to experience all that was currently popular in the world of fine motoring before you placed your order in, and got to chill 6-8 months before delivery.

    2. Headley_Grange Silver badge

      Re: turn on car features, such as driver assistance, through subscription services.

      @Neil - I agree with your sentiment, but it that approach hasn't worked for phones and PCs. I've got a few apps that I paid for which I no longer use because they switched over to a subscription model and I won't pay twice - e.g. a ToDo app that originally synched between my devices over my local network changed so that it would only synch using its proprietary cloud and they wanted a subscription to use it. I use Reminders now. I can't complain to Apple - the iPhone and Mac haven't changed. I could try to sue the app provider I guess but.....

      What's to stop cars doing the same thing? You buy a car like a phone - with basic functionality and anything software - navigation, phone, media, cruise control, tracking, security, auto-park, etc - they farm out to a sister corporation in an app store. When you buy the car the contract says you are buying the platform and you're given a glossy brochure of all the soft add-ons and voucher for a few quid off the first couple you buy.

      OK - it's probably very unlikely - safety and homologation issues alone might make it difficult - but I wouldn't discount it completely.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: turn on car features, such as driver assistance, through subscription services.

        "What's to stop cars doing the same thing? ... When you buy the car the contract says you are buying the platform and you're given a glossy brochure of all the soft add-ons and voucher for a few quid off the first couple you buy."

        It depends on how expected that scenario is, and how obvious it is. If it's not expected (you're expecting to buy a thing, not rent it), and it's not made obvious (2pt text), it may well not be a valid consumer contract.

    3. jake Silver badge

      Re: turn on car features, such as driver assistance, through subscription services.

      "But turn off any feature which my car has in the showroom when I *buy* it, and I'll see you in court."

      Toyota has stated they are planning on doing just that. The most common two that I've heard bandied about are heated seats and remote start ... They plan on selling you the car with those options, and then after a couple years, they will turn them off unless you agree to pay a monthly "service fee". Apparently they are planning on doing this with cars already on the road.

      1. quxinot

        Re: turn on car features, such as driver assistance, through subscription services.

        That ensures that there will be an even more active aftermarket in hacking cars.

        I'm amazed that remote start is even an option in any case though, seeing as starting the engine to have it run without anyone in it nor movement strikes me as not the most eco-friendly option, surprising that hasn't been legislated out of existence.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: turn on car features, such as driver assistance, through subscription services.

          No need. Cars will be all electric as soon as governments can force that through. There are already deadlines for the end of sale of new ICE cars in many countries. So, by definition, the won't be an engine running if the car isn't moving :-)

          1. bombastic bob Silver badge
            Thumb Down

            Re: turn on car features, such as driver assistance, through subscription services.

            "as soon as governments can force that through"

            *facepalm*

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: turn on car features, such as driver assistance, through subscription services.

          "urprising that hasn't been legislated out of existence"

          It's illegal in the UK for a car to be left unoccupied with the engine running.

          1. Douchus McBagg

            Re: turn on car features, such as driver assistance, through subscription services.

            on the queens public highway.

            however, on your own private property, you can do what you like.

        3. Triggerfish

          Re: turn on car features, such as driver assistance, through subscription services.

          The cyberpunk future we dreamed of turns out to be people running Russian Black ICE against their coffee machines and cars just to use the bloody things.

      2. Ciaran McHale

        Re: turn on car features, such as driver assistance, through subscription services.

        I can imagine that policy will annoy some customers enough that they will sell the car at a convenient time and then purchase a car from another company that does not have such a policy.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: turn on car features, such as driver assistance, through subscription services.

          History shows that once a company can get away with bilking customers, choice is removed for the customer as all the competition jump on the same bandwagon.

          1. Ciaran McHale

            Re: turn on car features, such as driver assistance, through subscription services.

            There can be exceptions. For example, many food companies whose products are sold in supermarkets compete on price, which has the side effect of farmers in developing countries being paid a pittance for their bananas, coffee, cocoa beans and so on, thus ensuring that those farming communities cannot escape from poverty. FairTrade was set up to compete on ethics rather than on lowest price. Likewise, "organic" certifications in various countries help products to compete on good-for-your-health grounds rather than on low price.

            In this case, if the market-leading electric car manufacturer used and got away with "pay a subscription fee for various car features" tactic, then I would agree with you. However, Toyota is far from being the market leader in electric cars, and if (like me) you assume that the world is moving towards electric cars, then Toyota employing this tactic is likely to result in people being even less likely to buy Toyota electric vehicles, and the end result is likely to be that Toyota will dramatically shrink in size or go bankrupt.

    4. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Things / Ideas

      Things can be bought. Ideas are licensed. Cars are things with software. In the past, you could buy a car and the car came with a license for the software. The software license could be transferred by selling the car. The camel is already half way in the tent: Some cars already have some software with a license that does not transfer with the sale of the vehicle, for example Tesla's "full self driving" (deleted huge rant about the misleading name).

      A car manufacturer can legally license software as free for the first year followed by a monthly fee. I would like to think most people would read the small print and buy something else. In the real world most people make disappointing purchase decisions.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Things / Ideas

        "In the real world most people make disappointing purchase decisions."

        Absolutely. However, as the family geek/nerd and resident gear-head, I am usually consulted prior to large purchases of anything vaguely technical being made, including personal transportation. Most of my friends also bounce questions off me for this kind of thing. I'm sure many others among ElReg's commentardariat hold a similar position of trust among friends and family.

        This is one of those things where we should be passing the word early and often.

        Read the fine print before signing anything, people. The word "contract" has a meaning in Law whether you like it or not.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Things / Ideas

          "I am usually consulted prior"

          You're lucky. I'm only consulted when the sh!t hits the fan, and then am supposed to fix things somehow. Any failure to do so is considered a personal failure of mine, which confirms them in not consulting me before their next big blunder...

      2. big_D Silver badge

        Re: Things / Ideas

        Nissan have been doing that for years, with the connect system in their infotainment systems. My 2014 Qashqai had a year's worth of access through the app - entering nav destinations in the app and it syncing with the head-unit, when I got in the car, for example - after than, it was over 100€ a year to continue using it. I only used the feature once in the free year, so I never re-upped.

      3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Things / Ideas

        "A car manufacturer can legally license software as free for the first year followed by a monthly fee. I would like to think most people would read the small print and buy something else. In the real world most people make disappointing purchase decisions."

        In the real world, each manufacturer copies the others business models and very soon you can't buy what you want, only what is available, all with similar restrictions.

      4. Updraft102

        Re: Things / Ideas

        In the even better past, you could buy a car and there was no software.

    5. Mike 137 Silver badge

      Re: turn on car features, such as driver assistance, through subscription services.

      "turn off any feature which my car has in the showroom when I *buy* it, and I'll see you in court"

      Turning off a feature such as 'driver assist' while you're on the road could prevent you taking them to court - permanently. It might only need a glitch at the bank while processing your direct debit.

      While success in business has always been down to hard noses, it's now reaching the point where the 'customer' is entirely expendable.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: turn on car features, such as driver assistance, through subscription services.

        "Turning off a feature such as 'driver assist' while you're on the road"

        I don't think they'll be that stupid. It will quietly switch off when the engine is not running for a while, no matter if it is overnight in your parking lot or while parked in a shopping center...

      2. Updraft102

        Re: turn on car features, such as driver assistance, through subscription services.

        Best not get into any car that has the capacity for OTA updates, or any other kind of wireless connectivity. Just as I get my PC's updates if and when I have personally approved them for my own use, I expect (no, demand) the same level of control when my physical safety is in question. I don't inherently trust computers all that much... I have way too much experience with them for that.

        My car is not all mechanical, but its only onboard computer (probably less powerful than an Apple II) is the ECU, and it is running the same firmware revision from which it came from the factory decades ago. It's the only firmware ever released for my model, and it's not flashable.

        The worst case scenario for a malfunction of the unit would be that it makes the engine stop running, and I'd have to use the vacuum remaining in the brake booster to come to a stop and call a tow truck. The throttle, the steering, the gear shift, the clutch pedal, the brakes, all are mechanical only... no software involved. The only way anyone's going to delete features is if they break in and physically remove something that is unequivocally mine.

        The idea of riding around in an automotive version of Microsoft's "Windows as a service" just gives me the willies. Thanks, but no thanks; I will take a hard pass on that.

        1. ThatOne Silver badge
          Unhappy

          Re: turn on car features, such as driver assistance, through subscription services.

          > Just as I get my PC's updates if and when I have personally approved them for my own use, I expect (no, demand) the same level of control when my physical safety is in question.

          Good example: Just as Windows Update does whatever it wants with (ordinary) peoples' computers, their cars will do whatever they like, when they like it (as long as it doesn't kill anybody). We're speaking about ordinary people here, who have no means to avoid or control whatever their computer (and soon car) will be doing. The time of responsible adults in control of their lives is over, the era of eternally underage halfwits under guardianship has come.

          I agree the notion of "Car as a Service" is frightful. But then I guess we're just oldtimers, I'm pretty sure the younger ones will be happy to add to their "Spotify" and "Netflix" subscriptions a "car" one.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Subscription Services!!!

      @Neil_Barnes

      Subscription services!

      (1) Intel's future includes "pay-to-upgrade" your CPU

      (2) SAAS -- it's not even your software!

      (3) Adobe -- it's not even your software!

      (4) Apple -- your N-year-old licence won't run on the latest Mac -- you need to buy a new laptop AND a new licence (rinse and repeat!)

      (5) Once upon a time you could buy a DVD -- now we have e.g. Netflix

      (6) Your mobile contract used to be about ACTUAL PHONE CALLS....now the contract is much dearer because you need X-gigabytes per month....for Netflix!!

      I suppose I could go on.....but I suppose I've made the point. Here at Linux Mansions we have tried not to get caught up in subscriptions:

      (7) No car ownership (and especially absolutely no thought of a Jaguar/LandRover)

      (8) Low end laptops (Intel N5000 and the like) running Linux (and especially no M$, no Apple)

      (9) Pay-as-you-go 10 year old 2G mobiles configured as burners (so no so-called "smart" phones, no Netflix, etc. -- just phone calls!)

      (10) No "cloud" -- our (Linux) server provides OUR OWN cloud (you know...ssh/sftp/sshd) -- a poor thing but my own!

      As far as I can tell, I'm still living a reasonably fulfilled life without the help of "subscription services".

      I know I can't avoid them all....but it's fun trying!!!

      Someone here can explain how my life will be more fulfilled when I start spending more money on "modern" stuff!!!

      1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

        Re: Subscription Services!!!

        As far as I can tell, I'm still living a reasonably fulfilled life without the help of "subscription services".

        You and me both. And good luck with remotely inhibiting my almost thirty year old Fiat... but for a more recent Renault I can't even find a service schedule, just, oh, your computer will tell you when it needs servicing.

      2. mbiggs

        Subscription Services -- You forgot to mention "Privacy"!!!

        @AC

        So....without registering your name, address, and credit card number....it's almost completely impossible to be a subscriber for anything at all...!!!!

        Not only does the subscription service have all these personal details....but when the service provider is hacked, who knows who else ALSO has your personal details?

        It gets worse. Someone bought a Jaguar SUV last year. They bought the vehicle privately. Some time afterwards they found out that Jaguar/LandRover still had the vehicle on their books in the name of the previous owner. It gets worse. The new owner was told that the only way to get the records changed was to ensure that you buy a second hand vehicle from a Jaguar/LandRover agent! Really? The legal owner can't get registered with Jaguar/LandRover!! The previous owner still gets maintenance notices!!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The previous owner still gets maintenance notices!!

          Interesting especially as only yesterday, I received a reminder about a service for my Jag. At the bottom of the page, there was this big option "I no longer own this vehicle".

          The owners manual includes details of what to do before selling your vehicle

          The 'new' owner of the SUV was IMHO being told some porkies by the dealer. No surprise there then.

          Stealerships is an apt name for most of them.

      3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Subscription Services!!!

        "As far as I can tell, I'm still living a reasonably fulfilled life without the help of "subscription services"."

        Are you off grid too? Water/sewage is basically a subscription, as are gas and leccy (either a service/standing charge or the first x amount is charge at a slightly higher rate to cover the service/standing charge, ie the monthly subscription :-)

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Subscription Services!!!

          I use water, electricity and gas. I produce sewage that needs to be taken away. These are actual physical things that are consumed or removed.

          The heater for my car seat and remote start capability are neither consumed nor a waste product that needs removal.

        2. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Thumb Down

          Re: Subscription Services!!!

          public and private utilities are billed by usage where I live.

          Not "a subscription".

      4. Warm Braw Silver badge

        Re: Subscription Services!!!

        In the long run, all of these outfits are going to find that the subscription model simply doesn't work. It may look attractive right now, but ultimately people have a finite amount of money and their income varies throughout their lives.

        If you own a DVD you can continue to use it when you lose your job, or when you retire. More importantly, if you own your computer and software - for example - you can continue to work even if there's a downturn in your income. The whole concept of retirement depends on the prior accumulation of assets to see you through dotage.

        If the economy depends too much on the subscription model, you will end up with a mammoth overhead of churn and even service "repossessions" as people reprioritise their spending to meet their circumstances. Assets (when they're not all in the same hands) help smooth out economic cycles, owing rents make them deeper. That doesn't ultimately help anyone.

    7. big_D Silver badge

      Re: turn on car features, such as driver assistance, through subscription services.

      It will be in the contract you sign, when you buy the car. So much up front and a monthly fee for the value-add services (like heated seats in BMWs, if they get their way).

      Given it will be detailed in the contract you sign, when purchasing the vehicle, you won't be able to sue them, when you don't pay the monthly fee and it stops working...

      1. PriorKnowledge
        Devil

        It won’t work in the UK

        …unless you’re an idiot who buys new things on hire purchase.

        No independent dealer (of second hand cars) can put you on a contract because they are selling everything without a warranty or support agreement. As they would also have no contract to abide by due to being sold a vehicle as-is, they can also add aftermarket modifications (like replacing the seats) to add value before they sell it on.

        You can also guarantee that independent repair garages will eventually offer to crack the DRM for you. People routinely get BMWs remapped by unauthorised engineers for extra performance (against the manufacturer’s wishes), why would the heated seats be any different?

        1. big_D Silver badge

          Re: It won’t work in the UK

          Yes, but they would still be required to advise you of which features fall under a separate contract with the manufacturer...

    8. TheRealRoland
      Coat

      Re: turn on car features, such as driver assistance, through subscription services.

      Lowest adoption rates on our optional "Turn Indicator" software module. It seems like BMW drivers simply do not care. So to cover for that loss, we've increased the base price of the car accordingly.

    9. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Pirate

      Re: turn on car features, such as driver assistance, through subscription services.

      this makes my 20+ year old dinosaur-burning "dumb" car look pretty good...

      1. Updraft102

        Re: turn on car features, such as driver assistance, through subscription services.

        My car rolled off the assembly line during the Bush administration. And no, not "Dubya!"

  2. Michael Habel Silver badge

    Why would I want to subscribe to my Airconditioner, GPS Cassete F/A-M Radio, and Trip-domiter? Why does nVidia think I would pay though the "lifetime" of the Vehicle. while we're on that note. we have active lawsuits on-going in a few States as to why some "optional saftey" equippment.... Is still optional, never mind that this Option would add another 10k$ to the cost of this aforementiond Vehicle. Those People belive they have the right to sue the Manufacture of said Vehicles, and sadly the Courts have't exactly told those People to kindly go, and bugger off somewhere. Then there is the trust issue, we'ev seen how effective Tesla's self driving (into a Tree / Lamppost / Dumb Animal (of the 4 or 2 legged varity), are. So whats the point of a "self driving" Car that has to be constantly controlled? Ultmately who will be responsable for these accidents? Me or nVidia?

    1. ThatOne Silver badge

      > Why would I want to subscribe

      You wouldn't want obviously, it has little to no advantage for the (average) user.

      But there is clearly profit to be made by milking the customers users for every penny ("Feeling chilly? Insert one dollar for 5 minutes of balmy heat"...), so it will happen.

      And people will be happy about it. Look how happy they are not owning their music or movies anymore. I'm pretty sure it will be the same about their car.

      1. PriorKnowledge
        Go

        Music and movies are different

        Not owning those was the norm since broadband replaced dial-up. The subscription fee is for the convenience of being able to “just play” in high quality without waiting on an illegal P2P download. Not a lot has changed here other than the fact that most actresses look fugly without XViD makeup and audio sounds less bathtub than it used to (on both the legal and illegal options). People have always been happy not owning their entertainment. Even pre-Internet, nobody owned television or cinema, and happily paid for a licence for one and membership for the other respectively.

        The same is not true of the tools people rely upon to live. You will see public transport overtake private if they screw the pooch too much, or folks will just go Cuban and maintain their old cars long term. After all, with no road tax, no insurance and no maintenance costs, one can travel infinitely around the local area for about £50/month with access to things like USB charging and air-con included for free! As a bonus, one can also get shitfaced and not have to worry about drink driving.

        1. ThatOne Silver badge

          Re: Music and movies are different

          > People have always been happy not owning their entertainment.

          Sorry, just stating it doesn't prove it. Even before internet you could either buy your movie or rent it (as a VHS tape). People back then did buy the good stuff they wanted to keep around, and rented the corny B-Series they knew they would only watch once.

          As about public transport, it's all a question of convenience. There are countries I tended to use public transport even if I had a car, because it was more convenient, fast and comfortable. In other countries I definitely wouldn't, either because there wasn't any, or it was so inconvenient and uncomfortable I'd really need to be forced to use it. In both cases I had a car, because public transport doesn't cover all needs.

    2. Roland6 Silver badge

      >Why does nVidia think I would pay though the "lifetime" of the Vehicle.

      Because the expectation is that people won't own electric cars, they will lease them etc. so what nVidia et al are angling for is a slice of those monthly lease fees...

  3. b0llchit Silver badge
    Facepalm

    ...the car-as-a-service model...

    No sir, that road is currently not in your road package license. You are not allowed to turn here. Would you like me to check if your destination is currently in your road license package and accessible? Only $0.99 per lookup for your licensed road trip planner.

  4. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Stop

    Funny how all the big guys think they can turn their hardware into a subscription service

    Well they can't. If I'm paying upwards of €15000 for a vehicle, that vehicle is mine and mine for life.

    If you think I'll be paying monthly for the right to drive my property I've got a bridge to sell you.

    It has an additional per-usage fee as well.

    1. Michael Habel Silver badge

      Re: Funny how all the big guys think they can turn their hardware into a subscription service

      I'm sure Mr. Musk would like to have a gentle word with you. As Tesla have been known to remove functions from second hand cars. Say for exapmple those originaly sold with Autopilot.

    2. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Funny how all the big guys think they can turn their hardware into a subscription service

      >If you think I'll be paying monthly for the right to drive my property I've got a bridge to sell you.

      I don't pay monthly for the right to drive my vehicle... I pay my road tax annually!

      ( I know I'm taking you out of context )

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Funny how all the big guys think they can turn their hardware into a subscription service

        "I don't pay monthly for the right to drive my vehicle... I pay my road tax annually!"

        That's for the right to use the roads, not the right to drive your car.

        1. runt row raggy

          Re: Funny how all the big guys think they can turn their hardware into a subscription service

          of course the real problems start when the manufacturer doesn't want to support the turny ony turny offy infrastructure anymore, and all the features are nerfed

        2. Mark #255
          Boffin

          Re: Funny how all the big guys think they can turn their hardware into a subscription service

          "Well, actually": in the UK it is a Car Tax, or Vehicle Excise Duty (which permits you to use the specified vehicle on the public highway), rather than a Road Tax (the Road Fund Licence hasn't existed for decades).

  5. Electronics'R'Us Silver badge
    Facepalm

    OTA updates?

    Whatever could go wrong?

    Keys cracked in 5,4,3....

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: OTA updates?

      And instantly void your warranty. Not advisable. Best not to buy into such a hair-brained scheme in the first place.

      1. Electronics'R'Us Silver badge
        Holmes

        Re: OTA updates?

        I was not necessarily referring to the owner licensee of the vehicle.

        Bad actors might well be interested in 'updating' the code.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: OTA updates?

          Again, it would be best not to buy into such a hair-brained scheme in the first place.

    2. Missing Semicolon Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: OTA updates?

      I suspect the security around these services (that will cost the manufacturer if breached) will be considerably better than the security for the remote unlock features, that only affect the mug customer.

  6. Ali Dodd
    Devil

    They already do it on their GPUs for virtualisation

    There's a yearly licence fee to use a Nvidia GPU with citrix virtualisation for example, and it may not be expensive but if you've spent up to 10 grand on a card for a server having to pay a yearly fee is galling. They claim it's to allow their continued support and development for drivers etc, but I see it purely as money grabbing and wish we could dump them.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: They already do it on their GPUs for virtualisation

      "but I see it purely as money grabbing and wish we could dump them."

      Should have voted with your wallet. I did.

      1. Ali Dodd

        Re: They already do it on their GPUs for virtualisation

        We'd already spent the cash before I got involved. We are unlikely to use them again however.

  7. Howard Sway Silver badge

    $1,000 a person per year ... That's one important piece

    I know it's a company's job to try and make as much money as possible, but boasting to investors about just how severely you intend to milk your customers means those potential customers get to hear about it too, and in a world with any sense would choose not to be customers.

    Hopefully this idea that people are going to drive home from work in their car-as-a-service, put on their VR-googles-as-a-service and fart about in the metaverse-as-a-service is too much overreaching and fails in a hugely expensive way for those whose common sense seems to have been evaporated by pure greed.

    I mean, I've yet to hear a single person say that they want to actually be an avatar in a metaverse.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Pirate

      Re: $1,000 a person per year ... That's one important piece

      just wait until your CAR MAKES YOU WATCH AN ADVERTISEMENT before you can start driving it.

      makes my 20+ year old dinosaur-burning "dumb" car (with no GPS to track me with) look pretty good. OK I already said that earlier but it is STILL TRUE.

    2. Citizen of Nowhere

      Re: $1,000 a person per year ... That's one important piece

      >I know it's a company's job to try and make as much money as possible

      This distorted and distorting belief is the root of the problem.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: $1,000 a person per year ... That's one important piece

        "This distorted and distorting belief is the root of the problem."

        So true. One must always remember the shareholders. So the actual job of the company is to make as much money as possible for the shareholders.

  8. Starace
    Devil

    Leaves a bad taste

    It was bad enough when they pulled this stuff with the data centre products, charging a massive premium for the hardware and then decided it was a great idea to start charging on top for you to actually use it. Puts you right off and makes you look for any possible alternatives. A bit like the reaction you have any time you get near Oracle.

    I'd be happy if it was cost neutral somehow - others managed when their pure hardware play went to hardware plus subscription - but this stuff about $1000/user/year points away from that.

    And $1000/year? They've started to believe the hype from their inflated GPU prices...

  9. SCP

    An interesting decision ...

    I must admit I am not entirely convinced on the arguments, but then my spending on software is rather parsimonious at best, and I prefer to own things (like CD's) rather than pay-per-play.

    I could see how it might work in the car-leasing model - where the software costs would all be rolled-up into the lease and would naturally expire at the end of the lease. I could see how it might work for those who routinely change cars every couple of years (e.g if the car price is fixed and the high-end features are costed appropriately) - but this does not give much of an assured life to the software income. It might work for very high-function software (such as self-drive) where a mandatory software update and maintenance cost might be incorporated into the servicing regimen.

    My concerns include that hardware goes out of date pretty quickly compared with the lifetime of a typical car - so it seems likely that aging cars might be incapable of running the latest software releases to an acceptable standard. I am not convinced that those buying in the second-hand market would be happy paying premium software prices for poorly performing software.

    I am also entirely unimpressed with the quality of in-car software (thanks Nissan) - the basic stuff like the engine management seems fine, but high-end stuff like the Sat-Nav and "entertainment" system are poor (the Sat Nav is just naff [e.g. can't bulk load POIs], the RDS traffic info does not work, the entertainment system has locked up a few times, and even the engine stop/start system has failed on at least 3 occassions - necessitating a full ignition turn off and back on again to get started [good job I was a software engineer].

    Overall I do not see me being an early adopter - with the possible exception that I might lease my next car (as I expect to try EV and would want to be shot of it before any battery issues develop).

    So an interesting and brave decision.

    1. Headley_Grange Silver badge

      Re: An interesting decision ...

      I think that the market is already softened up for not owning stuff. I still buy CDs too - and vinyl and DVDs - but the long-term customers for tech stuff are quite familiar with renting. Fuck - you can even rent a pair of sunglasses (£39 for three days - https://frontrow.uk.com/product/tom-ford-3), so the concept of a subscription for car software probably won't seem odd to the youth of today.

      Even stuff I apparently own is, effectively, only rented due to its limited life. My Garmin cycling/hiking watch cost hundreds of pounds and will probably be useless in 5 years either due to the battery or, more likely, compatibility issues with devices and services. That's nearly £100 a year ownership cost.

  10. devin3782 Bronze badge

    (Displays picture of Linus Tovalds giving the nvidia the finger)

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      It was a crowning moment of Linus awesome! I miss that Linus...

  11. Silly Goose

    Open Source Software

    Seems the better option is to move to using open source software and donate to their causes now and then, it would work out cheaper and you still get great software

    1. b0llchit Silver badge

      Re: Open Source Software

      That is not enough. We need an "Open Car" policy and initiative. Both hard- and software must be fully accessible.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Megaphone

        Re: Open Source Software

        and, "right to repair". 3rd party aftermarket things that do NOT have subscriptions. MANDATED that manfucturers make this possible to avoid anti-trust lawsuits. (this is where a government mandate makes sense, to level the playing field for competing businesses, bust the trusts, and disallow monopolistic practices and customer lock-ins).

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Linux

      Re: Open Source Software

      Point: donating to open source can include bug fixes and other submissions.

  12. DevOpsTimothyC Bronze badge

    Remote enablement

    While I can appreciate subscription services to update maps (provide updates rather than the use of maps already downloaded), wasn't there a court case somewhere that allowed people to bypass local lockouts? in this case something like enable lane assist because all the software and hardware was already on the car and all the remote enable would do is allow it's use.

    I'm curious how this will go with the various right to repair groups. It would be great if others were able to sell lane assist (or similar) features, perhaps it just needs a class action monopoly case in the US.

  13. CommonBloke

    Yummy SELF DRIVING subscription.

    I can already see the news: "Self driving car crashes after subscription ends mid-drive"

    Also, 1k per year per "metaverse person"? Unless nvidia's trying to lease the hardware, or offering some enterprise software, I seriously doubt any software will be worth that price tag. Hell, even in corporateland, that's a hard sell, "Hey boss, we need this software that costs 1k a year for our team of 15!"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Common Bloke

      1000 a year divided by the number in your team (15) = somewhere around 66 a year per person. I somehow can't see that being a hard sell to a business. Hell, I fork out whatever (I don't actually know how much offhand) to Adobe for an employee who will not use anything but Photoshop. He is shit hot at his job, and I don't want him to leave. Worth. every penny in my eyes

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        So only one member of the team has a metaverse subscription...

  14. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Liability

    They can't have it both ways. Thus far the software industry has been able to avoid the crippling lawsuits related to faulty products. But a play like this would make them just as liable as the manufacturers for the costs associated with recalls, accidents, etc. I hope she mentioned how the company is going to hedge against those kind of costs.

    Oh, and another piece by Agam Shah that consists almost entirely of quotes from other people.

  15. fidodogbreath Silver badge

    GraphicsDriver Pro

    "Your new Nvidia card includes a free three-month trial of GraphicsDriver Pro. When the trial is up, you can continue using the driver by subscribing for $19.99/mo (billed annually). Alternately, you may downgrade to our ad-supported GraphicsDriver LE, which requires you to watch a 60-second promotional video after each 1000 polygons."

  16. msobkow Silver badge

    How I loate SaaS. That is the WORST thing to have happened to computing in my entire lifetime, changing one time purchases into constant wallet-drains that often consume the purchase price within 3 years, and keep ON consuming resources after that, as pestilential as any tax man...

  17. ecofeco Silver badge

    Well bye NVidia

    Now scratched off my list of personal use products.

  18. Uncle Ron

    Monetize

    If there's one word I hate in corporate discussions in any industry, it's "monetize." To me, it usually means "charge money we didn't charge before for a twist on the same thing," or, "extract revenue without having to do anything new for it." In other words, "our stuff is successful and popular, (they're hooked on it, ) so let's disable it they don't pay up every month. Sounds to me like the policy or protection rackets, or drug dealers who get you addicted then milk you blind. If I was an Nvidia customer (including the OEM's,) I'd be looking for somebody else--right now. I dropped everything "Adobe" and "Playon" for the same reason.

  19. Binraider Silver badge

    NVidia premium video driver subscriptions incoming. "FUCK OFF".

    Give us a reason to upgrade hardware and reasonable prices and you can have your income stream back.

    Or rather, other manufacturers will have their income stream back, because I ain't touching NVidia if this is the road they intend to go.

  20. Not Irrelevant

    Nvidia has to be one of the greediest companies in the world. They're already hiking prices to the moon because of supply shortages. Now they're trying to press in on all sides asking for money for everything. This is ridiculous and I hope people get wise and refuse to go along with it, I know I'm not going to.

  21. G0HJQ
    FAIL

    It's not just the car manufacturers

    The printer companies have been doing this for years ... selling the product for a reasonable price, then forcing the users to pay a fortune in ink costs every time they use them.

    The latest to jump on the bandwagon is Dymo ... their latest label printers have NFC chips in the paper rolls and will only work with labels you buy from them (at vastly inflated prices of course)

  22. G0HJQ

    It's not just the car manufacturers

    The printer companies have been doing this for years ... selling the product for a reasonable price, then forcing the users to pay a fortune in ink costs every time they use them.

    The latest to jump on the bandwagon is Dymo ... their latest label printers have NFC chips in the paper rolls and will only work with labels you buy from them (at vastly inflated prices of course)

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