CAD, PLM and End of Microsoft Dominance

CAD, PLM and End of Microsoft Dominance

Last week, during PLM Innovation Congress in London, I talked about future trends in PLM and engineering software. If you missed my presentation there, navigate your browser to the following link to see my presentation. One of the trends I mentioned is the end of Microsoft’s dominance.

This week, on SolidWorks World 2011, I’ve got additional confirmations about future decline in Microsoft dominance and return to multi-platform realities. I decided to pull few examples of recent news and companies announcements related to that and confirming this trend. This is, of course, not a exhaustive list of examples, and I can see many others in this space. I will continue to follow them and share with you in the future.


A year ago, SolidWorks introduced the strategy of multi-platforms. The demo made last year on SolidWorks world presented some technological development that will position future SolidWorks products to be delivered not only on Wintop, but also on Mac, multiple browsers as well as mobile devices. Yesterday, on SolidWorks World 2011, new SolidWorks CEO, Bertrand Sicot, confirmed the vision by re-assuring SolidWorks availability on multiple platforms.

At the same time, Bertrand confirmed that desktop version of SolidWorks will remain available practically forever. In this context, I’d like also to quote SolidWorks co-founder, Jon Hirschtick that mentioned yesterday in one of his interviews: “The shift to Windows is nothing compared to the shift that we are going through now.”

PTC Creo

The  development PTC is doing around the new Creo Applications, and platforms raised multiple questions about availability of Creo Apps for platforms different from Windows. Just to remind you, PTC started in 1980s as CAD system on Unix workstations and only later in 1990s, after huge SolidWorks success, followed Wintop strategy by introducing Pro-E on Windows platform. I found a short video. Mike Campbell of PTC is talking about availability of Creo Apps on non-Microsoft platforms.

According to Campbell, there are going to be specific Creo Apps that will be tailored to Mac users.


Autodesk historically has a record of AutoCAD availability on non Mac. However, in late 1990s and beginning of 2000s, Autodesk discontinued the product availability on Mac. Recently, Autodesk made a significant investment in the introduction of new products on Mac and iOS mobile platforms.

What is my conclusion? The development of multi-platform application is a tough work that requires additional resources of vendors. However, time is about to change and vendors are responding to the reality of the software and hardware platforms. I think, we are going to see growing appearance of CAD and PLM software on non-Microsoft platforms soon. I will be a very interesting change, in my view. Just my thoughts, of course….

Best, Oleg


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