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SolidWorks clarifies future direction with respect to Mac

SolidWorks’ Fielder Hiss clarifies his company’s plans and statements regarding a native version of SolidWorks for the Mac.


“We like to think we are clear,” said Fielder Hiss, Vice President Director of Product Management at SolidWorks, “but sometimes maybe we are not.” Mr. Hiss and I had a phone call yesterday to clarify future directions with respect to ours and other reports about SolidWorks and the Mac.

At SolidWorks World 2010 what as shown was what Fielder Hiss called “technology components” or pieces of software that are demonstrating the technology that SolidWorks is developing in its labs. “They are not products or future products,” said Hiss. Those components were shown to demonstrate how SolidWorks is trying understand and solve customer problems…by looking at “what is core to what customers are really trying to do.” Specifically in terms of the Mac or what was shown with the iMac at SolidWorks World was technology components which leverage the cloud or cloud-based computing.

Clarifying the Mac

What people saw off the Mac was being run from a cloud server. It was running a design tool that “does not have a name” according to Hiss. “We are trying to find the best way to deliver solutions when the cloud becomes a common solution for our customers and the industry.”

“The component technology we are developing in the labs is future oriented.” said Hiss. “We are architecting these components in a way where we can deliver not just cloud-based solutions but deliver to native platforms if and when the market needs that.” These component technologies according to Hiss are 3-5 years off before they become products that ship. “We do not have clear plans today to deliver our flagship product (SolidWorks) to the Mac.” he said.

Fielder Hiss noted that the Mac is a in-demand item with their customers, especially in the home. “I’m a Mac user at home to be honest,” he said, “there is a lot more excitement about the Mac out there in the community.”

The Future is Flexibility

For SolidWorks the future is about being flexible. Mr. Hiss gave a wonderful example of a typical dad working on a product and rushing off to see his daughter’s soccer game late in the afternoon, then returning to his design later in the evening from home (possibly from a Mac) to continue further work. The future is about being flexible, about having options for how you can access information from different devices from anywhere in the world through the Internet. The cloud-based technologies SolidWorks showed at SolidWorks World are aimed at meeting that kind of flexibility.

As for native versions of SolidWorks? The company is officially saying there is no commitment to ship a native Mac version of its flagship SolidWorks application. What was said on stage and to other press was that they are studying concepts for native Mac software–thus some of the confusion.

Reader Comments

  1. SolidWorks Corp may not have been clear as to the their lack of intent to product a Mac product. Having a Mac on stage and demonstrating their product on that platform is a bold statement. For them to come back and say “They are not products or future products” is really saying “Ignore the demonstration at SolidWorks World. That was us just teasing everyone with vaporware.”

    At SolidWorks World, Jeff Ray also made some comments about this functionality, which I talked about:

    Hey, would you mind me quoting your quotes in my future article about this?

  2. You are welcome to quote Architosh.

  3. […] “SolidWorks clarifies future direction with respect to Mac,” Architosh, Feb 19, 2010. […]

  4. So what do you want to be when you grow up? What do you want to do? If you want to work in film the Mac is the only direction to go. Macs do cost a bit more money but you must compare them carefully. Today’s iMacs are actually extremely cost competitive with A-list level rivals. You can always find a dirt cheap B-list PC somewhere, but it is not an apples to apples comparison. Apple has world class tech support and online resources. Only a limited number of other PC companies have that. The main arguments for you are:

    – Macs today are actually cost competitive feature by feature (measure wisely)
    – Macs come with superior software that PCs don’t (iLife suite and more…)
    – More and more studies are showing Macs are cheaper to maintain
    – Macs don’t catch malware and viruses that end up crippling your PC
    – More and more software is become web-based making Windows irrelevant
    – Macs can run Windows and Windows software
    – For film Final Cut Pro is the industry standard

    Hope this helps.

Comments are closed.


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