On the one hand, Autodesk Marketing is this year successful at getting the AutoCAD-oriented Weblogs (of which there are an overwhelming number relative to the rest of the CAD world) to generate "ground level" "buzz" about AutoCAD 2007 -- software that won't be available for licensing until Thursday.
So, how successful will AutoCAD 2007 be, given that (1) the primary feature is 3D; (2) the 3D requires workstatation-level hardware; (3) the price of AutoCAD is going up; and (4) customers also have to purchase more expensive hardware for 3D.
I heard from a CAD instructor last night, who gave me this insight: "We skipped 2006, and are now getting ready to teach 2007." (He also bought five copies of my "What's Inside? AutoCAD 2007" PDF book.) I thought, now that makes sense:
AutoCAD 2006 didn't have much in the way for end-users: dynamic input isn't much liked, and dynamic blocks are too complex to figure out. But easier-to-use 3D, now that's useful -- especially in the education setting.
I suspect AutoCAD 2007 will be a roaring success if companies are feeling the need to upgrade their computers anyhow -- you know, those 3-year hardware cycles that had been stretched out to 4 and 5 years after the orgy of spending around the Y2K bug.