AutoCAD 2011 now returns to Macintosh

Many have speculated about this in the latest months but it is still surprising - Autodesk brings the most popular CAD application - AutoCAD - in the native version for Apple MacIntosh - AutoCAD for Mac.

AutoCAD for Mac already existed in the past. In the year 1992, AutoCAD R12 was released in the version for Unix and Mac. But since R13 the AutoCAD development continued on the Windows platform only. It was a logical decision by that time due to the dominance of the Windows operating system on the PC market - and this definitely contributed to the velocity of AutoCAD development as maintaining multiplatform versions brings substantial complications for software developers. The MacOS marketshare has not increased much (now about 5% worldwide - see the graph), but still Autodesk has decided to address the considerable Mac user community and ported the current version of AutoCAD 2011 to the Mac OS X platform. The AutoCAD code was rewritten in 18 months and 5.000 users have taken part in the beta testing phase.

MacOS marketshare
AutoCAD for Mac offers most of the functionality of the well known Windows version of AutoCAD and maintains the compatibility of DWG files. What's missing are the obvious Windows-specific functions (like the ribbon, Window system calls in API, OLE, etc.).

An interesting complement to AutoCAD is the new mobile application AutoCAD WS (as WorkSpace). This mobile version of AutoCAD can process AutoCAD DWG drawings on mobile devices like iPad, or even iPhone and iPad Touch. AutoCAD WS uses the web cloud technology Autodesk Butterfly - the power-hungry parts of this application run on Autodesk's cloud servers.