Miguel Helft of The New York Times is reporting this evening what was pretty much an open secret. It was just the timing we weren't sure about.
Tuesday Autodesk has all kinds of media events planned for announcing AutoCAD's return to the Macintosh, this time on the OS X operating system.
Mr Helft quotes Amar Hanspal, senior vp of platform solutions at Autodesk:
This is an endorsement from our side that design and engineering customers are taking the Macintosh seriously again.
Heh. Try telling that to companies like Nemetschek Vectorworks, Graphisoft, and Siemens PLM Systems, whose CAD software has been running on the Mac for years, in some cases originally developed on the Mac back when Autodesk gave up on it.
The New York Times says the OS X version will cost as much as the Windows version, $3,995 (subscription is $450/year). Shipping date for North America and Europe is October, my guess being closer to the end than the beginning of the month. www.autodesk.com/autocadformac
- Employs a native Mac OS X interface
- Uses same DWG format as Windows
- "Makes available many" (not all?) AutoCAD features
- API and customization
- Multi-touch gestures
- Took 18 months to port
- 5,000 beta testers
AutoCAD for Mac will be free to students and educators through the Autodesk Education Community site.
A free viewer-markup version -- named AutoCAD WS (short for "WorkSpace") -- will run on iPads, iPhones, and iPod Touches; available "soon" through the Apple App Store. butterfly.autodesk.com/mobile
Mr. Hanspal said AutoDesk was considering making mobile versions of the design software for other tablets on the market.
Users can pre-order the app starting Wednesday, September 1. AutoCAD 2011 for Mac works on Intel machines running OS X 10.5 or OS X 10.6.
Venture Beat adds:
The version for mobile devices was built with the help of Visual Tao, an Israeli firm that Autodesk bought in December.
Love it when non-CAD writers get confused. AppleInsider writes:
13 releases have followed since [Acad was last available on the Mac], including the current Windows-only Release 25, which was released in March
Best line from the Autodesk press release:
User experience design patterns, such as the visual approach to drawing and layout management, have also been incorporated into AutoCAD for Mac.
upFront.eZine Publishing adds:
Our "What's Inside? AutoCAD for Macintosh" ebook will ship once we get the go-ahead.
Just checked The Drudge Report... no coverage yet. But it's on Tech-meme.
NYT Scoops Us All
In a sign of the times, it is significant that The New York Times broke the story first, instead of industry writers and bloggers. I suspect Autodesk wants corporate America to know about the OS X version, more so than its own user base. After all, Windows AutoCAD users are not customers for the Mac version.
(Images of the beta version leaked earlier this year by an Italian Mac blogger were accurate, after all.)
CAD journalists and bloggers were under a verbal embargo to learn about "the announcement" Tuesday morning -- for public release Tuesday afternoon.
John Walker writes about the original port of AutoCAD to the Macintosh II in 1987: www.fourmilab.ch/autofile/www/subsectionstar2_68_0_2.html