It appears that Trimble are about to change the maintenance renewal policy for users with older versions of Sketchup.
As of April 25th 2017
SketchUp licences that are 3 years past their Maintenance expiration date or are Version 8.0 and older will no longer be renewable for upgrade. After this date, customers holding these old licences must purchase a new perpetual licence in order to access the most recent version of SketchUp Pro.
What it means is that if you are running the 2014 version of Sketchup or older, it is now a good time to pay up your yearly maintenance fees to get the latest version, otherwise if you want to get the new version in the future, you will have to pay the full price for a new license.
If you are still undecided about whether updating is worthwhile, I can confirm that in the last 3 years Trimble have implemented significant improvements (not just token ones) to Sketchup’s functionality. They include:
- the implementation of the keyboard arrow keys to orient the modelling plane
- the new extension manager makes it much easier to enable/disable plugins
- improvements to the functionality of the rotate and offset tools
- additional features added to object snapping
- fixes to the appearance of artefacts in animations on face-me components
- less crashes and better stability on both Mac and PC platforms
- new features added to Layout
It is also important to note that the current version of Sketchup can open and save previous Sketchup version files (right back to Sketchup Version 3!) so you will still have access to your older models. Also, any new plugins developed for Sketchup are likely to be written for the current version only.