Evan Yares recently left his 3D CAD Tips column to launch Nanosoft USA. The head office of Nanosoft is located in Moscow, and describes its nanoCAD software as "Free CAD software with *.dwg support." The current version is 4.5.
I asked Mr Yares about his plans for Nanosoft and nanoCAD in USA:
nanoCAD is a well-proven DWG-compatible CAD program that includes AutoCAD-like APIs. It's totally free. No catches. No adware. No crippleware. No incessant nagging. Up until now, the free version has been the only version of nanoCAD offered to the USA. No doubt, the best value in the industry (even better than DraftSight [it lacks APIs in the free version]).
Starting in September with version 5, we will release nanoCAD Plus, a version that includes additional premium features and priority support. It will be available only via annual subscription; the price will be very reasonable. In short: the plan is a "freemium" business model.
While we expect that the vast majority of users will opt for the free version of nanoCAD, it's been our experience that commercial users -- particularly those using a significant number of seats of DWG-based CAD -- are willing to pay a reasonable subscription fee to be certain of getting good support. Hence, nanoCAD Plus.
By the way: If this was about "yet another DWG-compatible CAD system," I wouldn't have joined Nanosoft. We have a much bigger vision. And it actually involves working with companies such as Grabert, Bricsys, ZWsoft, and even Autodesk.