New Autodesk software versions 2013

Most Autodesk products were (or will be in next couple of days) released in new versions "2013". These new applications emphasise integration, communication and web cloud services, now called "Autodesk 360".

Many existing CAD users consider online functions as something unnecessary, disturbing and alien to the CAD world, but latest trends in IT clearly define a path to web cloud technologies. Even conservative CAD users are using cloud technologies daily (without realizing that Facebook, GMail or YouTube is a "cloud"). The cloud advantages are "infinite" (easily scalable) computing power, simple UI and access to advanced functions even on low-performance devices - typically mobile devices. Probably not necessarily mobile phones but rather tablets, with higher resolutions and bigger screens more suitable for CAD work. Autodesk is deservedly perceived as a leader on this market.

Success of cloud CAD technologies is proven by rapidly increasing numbers of online users. While the existing about 12 mil. users of classic desktop application were "collected" by Autodesk for 20 years, only a single year brought already 7 mil. users of the cloud application AutoCAD WS. A similar growth occurs also on other popular cloud and mobile applications by Autodesk - e.g. Sketchbook Mobile, Pixlr, Cloud render, HomeStyler.

"Autodesk 360" services share a common message "find, connect, crunch" - cloud is strong in these areas: finding information, connecting data and people, and crunching large volumes of information. Today, Autodesk 360 services cover storing and sharing documents, analysis, simulations, optimizations, rendering. A special case of advanced cloud application is the new, cloud-based PLM system "Autodesk PLM 360".

Part of Autodesk 360 functions is available for free for anybody, some more advanced functions are bound to Subscription (no other costs). For most users, Subscription is now primarly a way to get new versions of CAD software. In the future, the primarly advantage of Subscription will be the ongoing access to cloud services.

An important factor of the 2013-versions is emphasis on Design Suites and product integration. Composition of Suites was enhanced in the 2013 versions - they now include more tools and so they are even more attractive to customers. An interesting example of very tight integration and live sharing of design data between two standalone applications (Autodesk Maya + MotionBuilder, members of the Entertainment Creation Suite) is illustrated on a video:

Another common feature of many "2013" applications is the "Exchange Apps" store (online AppStore containing add-on applications, plugins). So you can easily add pretested plugin applications (freeware or shareware) directly from AutoCAD, Inventor, Revit, 3ds Max and other software. Exchange Apps already contains many applications by CAD Studio.