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Architosh Staff ([email protected])
10 Aug 00


Autocad for OS X Petition Results: Preliminary Data 1

Certainly it could be expected of Mac users that there might be a polarized view of Autocad on OS X. Macintosh architects, engineers and other technical professionals quite often have to live and work with a constant defensive attitude about why they use Macintosh while the rest of the world is standardized on Windows. However, the petition data suggest that the situation isn't as polarized as one would think.

Reactions from the Middle: What the Data Says

This next reader suggest neither Autocad out performs any and every Macintosh CAD program nor is it totally crappy software. Instead, this reader simply acknowledges the pervasiveness of Autocad and that it is therefore some kind of standard.

The primary reason Autocad should be supported is so that the standard is available. So Macintosh has a convenient and practical CAD application. -- J. Christina

I just think all popular programs should be ported to Mac OS X. -- A. Saulog

I personally wouldn't purchase a copy of AutoCAD, but know so many people who would like a copy natively for OS X... as a systems engineer I run into "needy" people all the time! -- M. Reinmuth

I don't think Autodesk and Kinetix could ignore us forever. There is a huge market for CAD on the Mac and a large percentage of Mac users rely on CAD applications for their [design/publishing] work. -- M. Lin

The last time I used AutoCad for Macintosh I was very disappointed in the feature set. If the port to OS X is going to be successful Autodesk should follow what MS did for their Macintosh Business Unit and make the port look, feel and be useful for Mac users. As a Mac user I am more demanding of good, clean, useful design. -- S. Wuebben

My company abandoned the Mac platform as a direct result of Autodesk's decision to drop Mac support. If Autocad was available for the Mac again, I'm confident we could get Macs into the Engineering Department and from there they would likely spread to other areas of the Company. -- A. Pierry

I run a drafting business. My brother owns an Architectural firm. My wife's employer is an Architect. All parties had to migrate to Windows when Mac support ended (except for my stations, which changed over to ArchiCAD). All of us would GLADLY change back to Macintosh if the program ever becomes available again. -- D. Delisse

Mac OS X will be more popular with the professional and scientific communities, the exact target market that Autodesk should look to. -- A. Blair

Currently I own an Autocad license [and] I'm sick of fighting Windows NT version 4. -- J. Lloyd

Conclusions for Preliminary Data 1

Our data sample for this first preliminary report was a random sampling of 100 petitions out of a pool of 1200+. From this number of petitions we reached these following preliminary statistics for the petition data. In answers to questions 1 -2. Yes, as expected, 99% of petitioners want Autocad on Mac OS X. Only 1% don't. There is no middle position.

On the second question on whether or not you would buy a version for OS X, 94% said yes they would buy at least one copy. Only 6% said no. This means that there are definitely both Mac and Windows users who want to see it happen for the benefit of the Mac platform, but will not or have no need for a version of their own.

While this last group has no need for a licensed copy of their own, and hence Autodesk benefits little if anything from them, this group benefits Apple. Even more importantly, this last group benefits other Mac users who want to run a version of Autocad for OS X.

While very small, even Windows users on Autocad, who said they have no need for a Mac version, want to see Autocad on OS X for the benefit of the platform or the benefit of their Mac friends and coworkers.

The data suggest that our petition count is a rough approximate of the actual minimum number of Autocad for OS X licenses that could be obtained by Autodesk if they were to offer the program to Mac OS X users. And this is just a minimum, as many are speaking for entire firms and school departments.

Preliminary Data 2: Next Report

Our next report will focus on other questions in the survey and other issues, including aspects of frustration with the Windows platform from those who actually use Autocad daily for a living. Here's a sample reader comment from an Autocad developer:

I am an AutoCAD developer, and at times Windows programming issues such as .dll conflicts are a bitch. My home machine is a Mac and it runs for months on end. I have to reboot my machine at work at least once a week despite it being a year newer than my Mac, and running a newer operating system (Windows 2000). -- M. Schemacher

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