I think there are plenty reasons to bury the dongle.
First, for me, my project life cannot be planned like that. I work in the studio, in my home office only doing planning and concepts, do other types of projects i don’t need Nuendo for, teach at university. And suddenly, a client needs something while I’m in the train to somewhere. And I cannot even open the project to look at it cause I didn’t anticipate to have the dongle with me. Always having it with me is a recipe for disaster. If I start carrying the dongle with me all the time, then I leave it at home in the backpack that I decided I didn’t need today, so on the road in the train I don’t have it with me either, spontaneously. After coming back, I might go directly to the studio but then don’t have it there. I don’t know if you tried to open the laptop in a crammed train and then plug things into its USB ports: People bump it when getting in and out of their seats, harddisks with project data fall and dangle from the usb cable, it’s a nightmare. And of course, one dongle isn’t enough. I have to take the eLicenser AND the iLok with me. Two things that can get broken, get lost, get left somewhere on the table, in a USB hub or in the backpack that I just happen to NOT have with me. Everything that can be left where it is, in a safe place, is good. Or not requiring it at all is even better.
This is what theeLicenser FAQ page has to say “…keep in mind that losing an USB-eLicenser can mean losing the software!” - yeah, no thanks!
Other software packs manage to do it without a dongle. I can start Logic and Reaper wherever I want. I never have issues because the software says I need to connect to the server when I’m in a place that has no internet. Never had that once. It can be done.
Meanwhile I really try to avoid any software that needs hardware dongles. My opinion is, hardware dongles are not good for me as consumer. It’s to protect the vendor from piracy. That is not MY problem. I recognize the problem but it’s not mine. I buy my software, I spend the money. My problem is that I cannot open the software I bought on many occasions throughout my work week and it really annoys me. And I’m not ready to carry around even more things on a regular basis in addition to phone, keys, wallet.
All because the vendors want to insure themselves from piracy - by requiring their honest users to always take multiple dongles with them, keep track of them, download dongle software centers anyway, update those dongle centers, perform maintenance tasks once in a while, and require them NOT to lose them. In short, by inconveniencing their paying customers. They even sell insurance for the problem THEY created by using hardware dongles. iLok Zero Downtime for example. In order to immediately get temp licenses you of course need a spare dongle lying around. Key management is just not something I want to do in addition to all the other computer maintenance and bug hunting stuff after Windows updates. I got enough of that already. I enjoy grooming my computer, but dongles, in my opinion, require to be faded out and replaced with something better.
Anyway, Timo already said they’re working on solutions, but they’re still a bit out. Let’s see what they come up with.