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Autodesk Talks to Architosh about the Mac

Architosh expands its notes from the Autodesk announcements at this month’s Macworld Expo and Conference.


As many of you know by now Autodesk made a somewhat big splash at Macworld Expo and yet the company wasn’t even there in booth-form! Instead, tucked away in a conference room in a hip and stylish SF hotel, Autodesk hosted a series of private meetings with a selective group of Mac press.

The big news was that Autodesk was making big news at Macworld Expo. 

However, their announcements, which we have covered in detail here on Architosh, were noteworthy for themselves as much as what they portend. 

The Augur Says…

If the Mac world had its own official augur he or she might suggest that Autodesk’s statements to Architosh during this private press meeting bode to a changing world within the computer industry.

In fact, as far as “signs” are concerned Autodesk’s presentment at Macworld Expo is as bold and forthwith as Apple’s unashamed statements that they were no longer really interested in attending Macworld Expo in the future. 

But much like IBM’s tantrum over Mark Papermaster‘s hitch-up with Apple, Autodesk’s flat out statements about serving Mac customers came as a bit of a shock. And like the IBM versus Apple battle over Papermaster, both indicate a changing world within the computer industry. 

Apple and the Mac Matter

The tone of the meeting with Autodesk was very clear. In fact there were two tones bound together into a single timbre. It said: Apple is important to our customers…ever growingly so. And the second part said: Autodesk intends to fully meet this demand. 

Rob Hoffmann, Sr. Product Marketing Manager 3D for Autodesk’s Media & Entertainment division, said quite plainly that “the Mac market is extremely important to Autodesk.” “If you asked me four years ago about the Mac I would have said they were a rare sight within the production studio, but now they are a common sight,” says Rob. “The Mac is just like any other platform within entertainment sharing the same roles as Windows and Linux.” 

Outside M&E

Beyond the Media & Entertainment division Rob could not elaborate to the same extent as a man whose been serving the entertainment-driven 3D software market for over 14 years. But he did say “we are experiencing across the entire Autodesk software portfolio…strong demand for Mac support.”

But while the Mac is growing at an accelerating rate within the markets Autodesk serves, customers shouldn’t get too hopeful for particular Autodesk apps they would like to see on their beloved platform. Rob told us that how Autodesk will respond to Mac demand within its portfolio depends on a matrix of factors, least of which is development ease and cost…and opportunity for growth.

Up there in the complexity curve would be applications like Autodesk AutoCAD and maybe some of its very Windows-API oriented design applications. Easier apps to deliver to the Mac would be those they just started developing or those that were developed by others first (pre-acquisition) that developed around more portable software development models. 

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