Autodesk shake things up with Design 8:16!

Some time ago, I mentioned AutoCAD for the Mac, which was pretty impressive back then.

But now, personally, I think Autodesk have excelled themselves!

Under the Design 8:16 initiative, we now not only have AutoCAD 2012 for Mac (with network licencing) but we now have AutoCAD LT2012 for Mac and a desktop version of AutoCAD WS for Mac as well.

Check out the “Year In The Making” video on YouTube!

Plus, the LT and WS versions are on the App Store! How cool is that?

I think it is great that Autodesk have expanded their OS platform. Firstly, it makes the software way more accessible regardless of which proprietary OS you are using and, secondly, it makes me want to buy a Mac! 🙂

Now, let’s look at a future for these products here.

Well, it is AutoCAD 2012 for Mac, that indicates that AutoCAD for Mac is now in the regular upgrade/new version stream at Autodesk and has a development path. I sure hope so! I sure hope that as time goes by we see more Autodesk products on the Mac too!

What about compatibility, I hear you say?

Well, right now all we are dealing with is the DWG file format which, from what I can gather, can still be picked up AutoCAD 2012 on a Windows OS. So, you can have multi-OS environments in an organisation. And, with network licencing now available for AutoCAD 2012 for Mac, you now have full controll over the software too. IT departments now have no excuse not to consider AutoCAD for Mac. Isn’t that great?

So, what about AutoCAD LT2012 for the Mac? Check out the screenshots below. The user interface looks great!

This is great news as it gives the user the choice of either full 2D/3D design (AutoCAD 2012 for Mac) or with LT, the 2D general drafting option, which some of us do prefer. CAD managers can now look at a super-user/general (sometimes part-time) user model and combine full AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT accordingly. A VERY shrewd decision from Autodesk. From a price point, this is very savvy. It also indicates that Autodesk are listening to their users!

Now, I don’t know if you saw the Facecast yesterday presented by the lovely Lynn Allen and the equally enthusiastic Amar Hanspal, but it really gave me an insight in to how Autodesk are making sure they listen to their users. Lynn’s presentation was excellent (as usual) and she promoted the users and how they have asked for new features in AutoCAD and Amar presented the commercial/business case in his usual erudite fashion. But, it is official, Autodesk are really beginning to LISTEN!

“Since the release of AutoCAD for Mac last year, customer feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, further validating the need for professional design and engineering software on the Mac platform,” said Amar Hanspal, senior vice president, Autodesk Platform Solutions and Emerging Business. “Bringing AutoCAD LT and AutoCAD WS to the Mac shows our continued commitment to making design more accessible for an ever-greater number of people to shape the world around them.”

AutoCAD WS for Mac looks great as well! This is a desktop version like the Windows desktop version so, again, CAD managers can look at multi-OS environments or even specialise on the Apple platform for AutoCAD.

Check out the screenshots. It looks superb, doesn’t it?

From an Apple desktop perspective, Autodesk now have AutoCAD covered; AutoCAD 2012 and LT 2012 for Mac for design and AutoCAD WS for collaboration.

How’s about if you go mobile though?

Again, available in the App store for both iProducts (iPad, iPod Touch and iPhone) and Android products (too many to mention!), the mobile arena is pretty much covered. I would still like to see a BlackBerry version though!

Again, have a look at the screenshots. There is selection of iProduct shots and Android shots in here so flick through and check them out! I am sure you will work out which is which!

In conclusion, Autodesk have excelled themselves. This will make Apple product users very happy and also secure in the knowledge that Autodesk are taking the Apple platform and OS seriously. I have been a Windows OS user up till now and I am deeply considering a move to Apple in the not-too-distant future. I was in San Rafael on AUGI business a couple of weeks ago and saw one of my AUGI colleagues using a MacBook and asked the question, “Is it worth making the move?” Simple answer, yes. You can dual boot a Mac easily now, with Windows and the new Apple Lion OS, so everything is good.

Ten out of ten, Autodesk. Staying current and keeping the users happy. Savyy!

Happy CADD’ing!

SB

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