Autodesk marketing is ramping up its We-Are-Mac messaging. You may have noticed the initial steps, a few social-media releases, such as the Which-Features-Do-You-Want? survey for a possible Macintosh version of AutoCAD. (From the wording of the survey, Autodesk was hoping users would be fine with a less-than-AutoCAD-LT feature set.)
More recent was the "Official: Mac Users Love Us" press release that rejoices at how much the Mac version of Alias is beloved of users. The headline and body contain "momentum" wording: "Alias 2010 Adds to Autodesk’s Growing Portfolio of Mac Design Tools."
Alias Design joins the increasing number of Autodesk 2D and 3D software tools available for Mac OS X, including SketchBook Pro, Autodesk Maya, Autodesk Mudbox, Autodesk Toxik, Autodesk ImageModeler and Autodesk Stitcher.
(Notice that the list consists of non-CAD programs only.) The momentum wording is key to understanding that there will be more Mac news from Autodesk. My guestimate is that the Mac version of AutoCAD will be announced at Autodesk University -- announcement meaning something along the lines of "We will ship something at some point [in 2010]."
In addition, I expect Autodesk marketing to mount a similar campaign for Linux next year, building on the few apps they already have running on Linux.
Ares and Bricscad
Graebert and Bricsys will be beta-testing and/or shipping Linux and Mac versions of their (non-IntelliCAD) CAD systems over the next 6-24 months. Will Autodesk be as effective at squashing them as it was of IntelliCAD 11 years ago? At that time, the FTC stomped on Autodesk to prevent possible anti-competitive behavior.
Without government intervention, the best chance for Graebert and Bricsys is for Autodesk to initially ship AutoCAD/Mac with no API.
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(Details about Ares and Bricscad for Linux and Mac in this and next week's editions of upFront.eZine, available free.)