Dunno, and that's what I (and other CAD journalists and analysts invited to Boston) find out tomorrow. PTC marketing is pushing the Hype-O-Meter well into the red zone with its claim that this is the "product that will transform the CAD marketplace." Talk like that sinks the journalists' Skept-O-Meter into deep purple zone, and explodes the analysts' Whitepaper-O-Meter as it goes off the deep gold scale.
The purple comes from experience. Siemens PLM Systems fell flat when they initially over hyped synchtech v1, and it took a couple of years for (a) people to figure out even what the heck they were talking about, and (b) for the technology to sufficiently diffuse through SolidEdge, NX, et al for it to be meaningful. Then there was Autodesk's Fusion, which has gone quiet following its days of exhilaration as the media's darling earlier this year.
PTC has been hyping Project Lightning for nearly half a year now, letting out these hints (let's see if l can out-hype them):
- fundamental ease-of-use (3D gestures? no ribbon?)
- assembly management (no limit on model size? create assemblies from parts in competitors' files?)
- solves the problem of technology lock-in (no longer locked to PTC software? a neutral file format to rule us all?)
- scalable (PTC always claimed to be scalable, and here's their chance to scale down to Android devices)
- interoperable (hopefully this means more than just, "We read our competitor's files" or "We read our old files")
- open (see #3 above)
- easy-to-use (see #1 above)
- right-size solution for each participant in the design process at the right time (cloud-based apps that you pay for by the hour?)
- full upwards compatibility with existing PTC software, specifically Pro/E, CoCreate, and ProductView (a single product that replaces all three? that requires customers to pay a big upgrade fee? PTC does l-o-v-e that maintenance revenue)
- transforms the CAD marketplace (like Apple's Mac App Store, only better!)
(What they left out of their list: "whirled peas.")