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VMware and Parallels: Dominance in the CAD arena

With VMware clearly hustling to be in the fight with archrival Parallels, does it not make sense for VMware to establish partnerships with Windows-only CAD companies, much the same as what Parallels did with Autodesk?

Earlier we published a story on VMware’s new Fusion 3, scheduled to ship in late October. This new push by the market leader in virtualization comes hot on the heels of advancements made by its chief rival for Mac-based solutions Parallels Inc. 

There are several key items announced in this news so read that full report here. 

The CAD Perspective

Despite the fact that in today’s Mac market there are more world-class, industry-leading CAD and 3D applications already running natively on the Mac OS X operating system than ever before doesn’t stop the quests by users and the demand on software makers to provide their Windows-only solutions to the growing Mac market. 

Autodesk’s recent announcements–since Macworld in January–portend to an evolving picture where “virtualization” is a stepping stone for software makers to deliver an interim solution to Mac users wishing to run Windows-only CAD and engineering applications.

The partnership between Parallels and Autodesk is a big blow to VMware; however there are several key Autodesk rivals which VMware could establish a working relationship in the same capacity. SolidWorks Corporation is one such major Autodesk rival, and SolidWorks is one such company that has users who would like to switch over to the Mac. 

There are interesting connections between user-bases on the Mac using native solutions and user bases on Windows-only platforms. One such connection is the partnership between solidThinking and SolidWorks. Many manufacturers have product designers using solidThinking on Macs and product engineering based around SolidWorks running out of necessity on Windows. There are overlaps with such organizations where a user on a Mac would like to be able to access files in both solidThinking and SolidWorks. 

VMware could search out such connections between major CAD and 3D design platforms and form partnerships much as Autodesk did with Parallels. By doing so it would fight off the perception that Parallels is a superior product for handling CAD applications.

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