Executive summary of Deelip’s AutoCAD for Mac interview

Deelip has just published an extensive interview with several Autodesk people about AutoCAD for the Mac. Deelip had a good set of questions and I suggest you read the whole thing, but if it’s all too tl;dr for you, then here is the lazy reader’s version of what Autodesk had to say:

  • The AutoCAD code was split up into 3 sections: the core CAD engine (platform-independent), the Windows-specific (MFC) parts and the Mac-specific (Cocoa) ones.
  • AutoCAD for Mac is incomplete. Choosing which features to leave out was done with the aid of CIP (oh, dear) and Beta feedback. (Hang on a minute, I thought CIP said most people were using the Ribbon…)
  • No comment on when or if AutoCAD for Mac functionality will catch up with its Windows counterpart.
  • No comment on the stability or performance of the Mac version.
  • Buying Visual Tau wasn’t a complete waste of money.
  • If Mac users want Windows-level functionality, they should use Bootcamp.
  • The Mac version is intended to expand the AutoCAD market to those Mac users who are frustrated by Bootcamp or who find it too hard.
  • Some mind-blowing spin was attempted in a valiant but vain attempt to explain away the Ribbon = productivity, Mac <> Ribbon marketing problem. You will really have to read it for yourself, as I can’t do it justice here. But “just because 2+2=4 doesn’t mean 4-2=2” will give you some idea of what to expect.
  • The Mac version is the same price as the Windows version, despite being incomplete, because Mac users won’t know or care about the missing stuff.
  • There are no plans for a Linux port, or any other platforms.
  • Autodesk will wait and see how AutoCAD for Mac does before porting any of the vertical products. (Very sensible).
  • Autodesk closed off the AutoCAD for Mac Beta program on announcement day because it wouldn’t have been able to cope with the mass of feedback from new users.
  • Autodesk will not allow dual use (Windows + Mac) licenses. If you want to have both products available to you, you will need to buy the software twice.
  • You can cross-grade AutoCAD from Windows to Mac for a nominal fee, or for nothing extra if you upgrade at the same time. (Although at 50% of the retail price of a whole new license, such an upgrade hardly represents a bargain).
  • Autodesk really doesn’t have any idea what is going to happen in the Mac CAD marketplace. (Refreshingly honest).
  • Little comment on why AutoCAD WS is called AutoCAD, other than iOs users not expecting their apps to do much anyway, plus it’s “part of the AutoCAD family.”
  • WS doesn’t stand for anything.

One comment

  1. Excellent job summarizing Deelip’s interview, which was excellently executed. My impression of AutoCAD for MAC is of most Apple based products; (and I am saying this without ever seeing AutoCAD for MAC so it might not be a fair statement)is that you pay more to get less. But the buttons are shiny!

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