OK, so now we're back in the main conference room and getting an overview of Alias 2010 (see figure below; that's my 9" netbook in the center of the picture, with the Inventor group's 19-foot screen in the background.
Editor Randall Newton is noting that Alias lacks the ribbon interface that's been imposed to other Autodesk software. Since the ribbon is only for Windows, we are told, its simulated in Alias through that vertical toolbar -- especially now that Alias runs on the Mac.
"This challenges us to do cross-platform products that don't alienate users," we are told. [Meaning: writing software that looks and operates the same on Windows and Mac, yet looks and operates the way Windows and Mac users expect.] Useful to keep in mind as we guess Autodesk's moves regarding AutoCAD on the Mac.
We were shown a preview of Project Bauhaus, sketching software that will be made available in Autodesk Labs later this year. (Bauhaus is the German design movement of 75 years ago. Literally, it means "construction house.")
It is a Project Nora-like raster and vector editor, but features variation management. The demo was running on the Mac, and showed how a chair design could reuse legs but have new back and seat.
Currently it is 2D (and creates 3D-looking images) but in the future it will handle 3D. The demo showed the ability to stretch parts in a vector-like manner. It also has texture, seen in other products, like rough paper texture with pencil dawn on it. Works best with a tablet.
[Disclosure: Autodesk covered my accomodation and travel costs, and provided some meals and Inventor 2010.]