AutoCAD 2012 – Massive download bloat

AutoCAD 2012 – Massive download bloat

Note: this post is not an April fool’s joke. It may be ridiculous and hard to believe, but unfortunately it’s all true.

After I managed to overcome Autodesk’s obstructive download manger and download AutoCAD 2012, it became available on the Subscription site (when that site wasn’t running unusably slowly). Or it became kind-of available. Here’s what is actually available:

  • AutoCAD 2012 Multilingual 32 bit
    Download File Size: 2,080,558,319 bytes (1,984.2 MB)
  • AutoCAD 2012 English Korean Traditional-Chinese Simplified-Chinese Win 64bit
    Download File Size: 2,240,915,999 bytes (2,137.1 MB)

These file sizes are roughly double those of the AutoCAD 2012 English files I’ve already downloaded from the trial page and installed. The 32-bit English file is 1,144,011,680 bytes, or 55% of the size of what the Subscription site is trying to offer me.

Why? Because the Subscription downloads contain three bonus Asian language packs. It has apparently escaped Autodesk’s notice that Australia is an English-speaking country, and that the ability to install a Korean version of AutoCAD 2012 isn’t going to be spectacularly useful here. Duh!

There was a a distribution fiasco last year when Autodesk couldn’t make up its mind which AutoCAD 2011 language variant Australian users were supposed to use. This resulted in weeks of delays, uncertainty and disrupted shipments. This year, there’s less uncertainty. Somebody has made a firm decision about what we’re getting, right from the start. What a shame it’s the wrong one, and it makes Autodesk look utterly clueless.

Just in case you’re wondering, the AutoCAD 2012 English from the trial page installs and works fine, correctly detecting that I’m in Australia and presenting the correct legal information. The installation also registers and authorises correctly using the serial number provided on the Subscription site. No problems there, then.

What, then, is the reason for the massive download bloat? Is it really just stupidity, or is there some legitimate reason for it? I’m informed that installing the English version of 2012 in Australia may cause some problems with Migration when upgrading to 2013. I am unconcerned about this for two reasons. First, I’m sure migrating from 2012 English to 2013 English will work just as well here as it does elsewhere in the world. it’s not as if the Migration utility has to invert the bits or anything for Down Under users. Second, I have avoided Migration anyway since AutoCAD 2006, when “improvements” rendered it effectively unusable to me.


  1. R. Paul Waddington

    Steve, AEC System, over here in the east have emailed their ‘customers’ with a warning about the file size to download Autodesk’s products and, given those receiving the email warning, a short cut/link to ensure they are shipped the product boxed. 😉 Slap, wack!

  2. Darren Myles

    At least you have subscription download. Here in New Zealand we only have 2011 versions available. Although our local Autodesk site splashes 2012 everywhere there is still no sign of an “official fulfilment message” for subscription users. I suspect I will be offered the extra language packs as you have and will enjoy learning the additional Asian languages to boost my English speaking productivity.

  3. You mean you don’t speak Korean in New Zealand either? Quick, somebody tell Autodesk!

    For a company that’s trying very hard to push everybody into Subscription, Autodesk is making life difficult for itself by pushing its paying Subscription customers down the priority list like this.

  4. Kevin

    I really wonder why AutoCAD has become so bloated over the years. I realize it’s come a long way and there are more graphics involved but still, 2GB?
    I remember when I started on v2.6 I could fit all the necessary executable files to run AutoCAD on one 5 1/4″ floppy (without all the support files of course).

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