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Mar 14, 2006


Evan Yares

- Microsoft bundled EasyCAD, the first GUI-based CAD program, with its mouse. They did similar deals with a variety of programs -- however, the EasyCAD deal outlasted them all, running for about 3 years, and accounting for around 3/4 million copies of software.

- The Smartsketch bundle was a marketing deal, where Intergraph's software was included on a bonus disk that included a number of other third-party products. I don't know if anyone in management at Microsoft even knew about it. But, for a while, Intergraph was very popular in Redmond, because of their support for OLE for D&M (Design and Manufacturing) -- a standard that went nowhere.

- Microsoft actually does own IntelliCAD. It granted the IntelliCAD Technology Consortium a perpetual license for the technology, but it still has rights to the software itself. Not that it'll ever do anything with it.

Will Microsoft ever get into CAD? Depends on what you call CAD, doesn't it? If CAD is the authoring of high-precision hybrid (raster, vector, text) intelligent documents, I'd say it might be inevitable. But I doubt that they'll try to compete with Autodesk head-on.

rachael Dalton-Taggart

If today's 'SketchUpdate' - the SketchUp team's newsletter - is anything to go by, nothing is set to change at the Boulder-based company in terms of SketchUp's continued development, applicability to designers, architects and engineers. The promise is that product will continue to run, improve and deliver.

My instinct is that the two operations will merge what they do best: 3D creativity tools from the SketchUp team coupled with Google's own ambitions for widespread availability and collaboration of data. (Ugly word that collaboration thing but it's the only one that works!)

I am optimistic that it means Google is now a presence in the 3D design market, and that this great 3D product will stay, grow and strengthen...and not disappear like so many CAD products did when acquired by Microsoft.

Roger Moore

You said the following:
"There is a truce between Microsoft and CAD vendors. Microsoft does not get into CAD in exchange for most CAD vendors using Windows APIs exlusively, thus locking CAD users into Microsoft operating systems."

This is somenthing I have suspected for a while. Can you point me to any sources that verify this? In other words, how do you know for a fact?

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