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Architosh Staff ([email protected])
10 Aug 00


Autocad for OS X Petition Results: Preliminary Data 1

Architosh, as many of you know, has been actively running an Autocad on Mac OS X petition for the benefit of the entire Macintosh CAD and 3D community. We have now received well over 1800 emails regarding the effort, most of which are in favor of the project to port Autocad to OS X. The results of the survey—once the survey data reaches approximately 5,000 petitions—will be finalized into a detailed report, published by Architosh, and brought to the attention of both Apple and Autodesk. What follows is our Preliminary Data 1 report.

Autocad on Mac OS X Petition: Questions 1-2

Our petition for Autocad on OS X had six questions, the first of which was the requisite issue regarding Autocad on OS X: "Would you like to see Autocad ported to Apple's upcoming Mac OS X?" The choices were (a) Yes or (b) No.

We'll cover the stats in a minute. This first question is fairly obvious in terms of our responses. People who want Autocad on OS X are naturally going to say yes to that. However, they may want it but have no plans of using it themselves. And that's what matters economically to Autodesk. So the second question was: "Would you purchase Autocad for OS X if it were available?"

In our random sampling of the over 1200 petitions 99% of the petitions answered in favor of porting Autocad to OS X, while only 1% said they would not like to see it, period. Many of those who answered no to the first question thought it would have some form of negative reaction or effect in the Mac CAD market and might hurt the existing Mac CAD developers.

Many expressed that they would like to see it come to the platform so that the architectural market, in particular, would NOT be so hesitant to adopt Macintosh computers—which many admit to being more inclined to favor.

For the second question concerning whether or not one would purchase Autocad for OS X if it were available, 94% said they would purchase at least one copy themselves while only 6% said they would not purchase any version of Autocad for OS X. (while many readers spoke of representing very large organizations, corporations, institutes and schools, this petition did not ask for seat counts. Architosh will be following up with seat count estimates in a later study. We believe that the seat count number may be as high as 15,000 initial seats upon initial offering of an OS X version of Autocad) .

Q2: Would you purchase Autocad for OS X, if available?
Yes     94%
No   6%  


Of those who said they would not purchase any version of Autocad for OS X but yet would like to see it come to the Mac platform, many said the same thing: it would be good for the Mac platform's health in general and in the technical market in particular.

Many expressed that they would like to see it come to the platform so that the architectural market, in particular, would NOT be so hesitant to adopt Macintosh computers—which many admit to being more inclined to favor. While many AEC pros are happy to be practicing with their Macs, the dominance of Wintel and Autocad in the AEC industry places this constant pressure on Mac AEC pros to conform just for the sake of conforming. The argument is: the main reason people want you to conform is to be compatible with Autocad, even if this means that you don't primarily use it but have the ability to do so with your Mac hardware if need be. It's a ridiculous notion, yes, but since Autocad holds so much weight, it holds great influence on the AEC world.

Bare in mind that the above comments summarize those who were the six percent (6% ) who said they would not buy a version but support the idea of Autocad for OS X. This means they were Yes on Q1 and No and Q2.

What Some Petitioners Said

The last question asked for additional comments and what follows are some varied responses from those who took the petition. In the 1% case of petitioners who DID NOT want Autocad on Mac OS X this reader summarizes the typical sentiment.

Why waste time with Autocad? There are better things already available (try VersaCAD for MacOS) and even better CAD/CAE suites that we should want for use on the Mac from the PC side ( like Pro/E or IronCAD). Autocad is very [much] like Windows; it is ubiquitous, but it isn't necessarily the best. -- L. Tejeda

This negative sentiment about Autocad as a program is quite typical from technical Mac users, especially those that got burned with it in the version 12 days and had to make some kind of forced switch. However, in the petitions there were the occasional opposite. This next quote suggest that nothing on the Mac side can live up to Autocad, and hence the Mac needs Autocad.

I've used two Mac based CADD programs and now work exclusively in Autocad. The Mac based programs were only adequate, Autocad is more seamless and efficient, although not without its problems, certainly better than than those available for the Mac. -- G. Singer

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