Another year, another free CAD package. I can't say anything about it until later, but a well-known name in the CAD industry will spring a free CAD program on the market. Free, except for commercial use.
Alibre did a great job of getting exposure for their free Xpress, so it'll be interesting to see what stunts this company, older than Alibre, will pull off. [Gosh, this blog entry just might be one of the first of a string of stunts. Contain your excitement, Grabowski!]
30-day Free Demos? Bah!
Should competitors quiver in their boots? Probably not, considering the niche this company is targeting. (Well, perhaps a couple of them should.) I suspect that the threat is not of some free CAD software, but that the amount is growing. We're not talking about home-grown code with quirky user interfaces, but robust packages that get the job done -- within their size limitations.
With all these established and brand-new software companies launching free and not-free CAD packages, you gotta wonder what's keeping Microsoft from doing the same. It's just a matter of bundling a bunch of third-party modules together under a UI -- and don't forget to throw in the unique-sounding marketing spin.