In the future, will Autodesk products all be used online?


TechCrunch just posted this video, where Andrew Keen interviews Autodesk CEO Carl Bass.

The interview is about 12 minutes long. About 2 minutes in, Bass makes possibly the most interesting comment in the interview:

“I’d say two to three years from now, every one of our products will be used online. The only way to use them will be online.”

If that happens, it will be a truly transformative and disruptive event.

But how can it possibly happen?

Autodesk has, over the years, built or bought a large stable of high-end graphics applications, including 3DS Max, Maya, AutoCAD, Inventor, Revit, and many others. The company continues to invest massive resources in all the tedious details of updating, fixing, and connecting these products. Customer wish lists still include items from years ago. Performance and bugs are still issues. Within this context, how can Autodesk transform the architecture of these major applications, used by on the order of 12 million people, so that they will run efficiently online?

Possibly the answer will reveal itself. Two or three years from now. If they manage to pull it off, it’ll be impressive.

7 Comments on “In the future, will Autodesk products all be used online?

  1. Cloud computing is really all about trust. I’m tired of the broken
    promises that now amount to lies from design CAD companies like Autodesk
    and SolidWorks. I’m tried of the CADCAM press and CAD bloggers not
    calling design CAD companies out on all their broken promises. I think
    others besides myself need to look back to what Buzz Kross had to say
    when Autodesk exercised their option to purchase the code from Spatial
    (the ACIS kernel). I don’t feel that Buzz Kross and Autodesk delivered
    on most of the promises that were made back then for a much more
    powerful, unified, hybrid modeling approach in Inventor. I’m disgusted
    with the lack of any real progress made by SolidWorks as well. I don’t
    feel that either company deserves the trust that I feel is needed
    between end user and cloud provider.

    Geometry creation and editing isn’t a solved problem. It’s not even
    close to being a solved problem. Design CAD companies placing the
    emphasis on cloud applications just takes away from what I think should
    be the emphasis / goal of design CAD companies like Autodesk and
    SolidWorks: Creating a seamless, unified, hybird modeler that’s good at
    solid modeling, surface modeling and working with dumb solid geometry.
    That takes hard work and design CAD companies are looking for a new way
    to make a fast buck instead of properly developing their CAD tools.

    Most of the CADCAM press aren’t going to do the right thing and hold
    design CAD companies feet to the fire and call them on the real reason
    that they want to move as many applications as they offer to the cloud
    as quickly as possible. Nor is the CADCAM press going to examine the
    long trail of broken promises design CAD companies have made for years
    and not delivered on. There is also no chance that the few SolidWorks
    and Autodesk Inventor bloggers left will tell the truth about why design
    CAD companies are pushing their applications to the cloud as fast as

    Last but not least, and easily the most disappointing to me, are all the
    long time, experienced, SolidWorks users who focus all their efforts on
    commenting on just one blog. If you want change, and you are sincere
    about getting change, I think it’s incredibly stupid to put all you
    efforts into posting to just one blog. Like most machinists, CADCAM
    users are wimps who share in the blame for the sad state that CADCAM is
    currently in. 

    From personal hands on experience I know that most that I work with, who
    really push SoildWorks hard, are very unhappy with SolidWorks and I
    feel they have really good reasons to be extremely unhappy. What’s being
    said in the comments I link to below reflects my personal experience
    from many years of using SolidWorks. They also reflect the opinion of
    the majority of people I work with.

    I acknowledge that many people who don’t really push SolidWorks, or who
    only use SolidWorks occasionally, usually love SolidWorks and have no

    “Auto DESK and Dassault just keep slammin’ it to their customers, trying to wring dependance and money out of them.”

    “Auto DESK and Dassault have become the arrogant PRO E of today. Sooner
    than later, a better business model will replace them also. History will
    repeat itself.”

    “Looks more and more like a long range gang rape of the $1B CAD industry by vampire bankers doesn’t it?”

    “Its a grand CAD foreclosure and a giant fraud/hoax on users everywhere.
    The search for a SW replacement just became more real. Inventor is off
    the list obviously.”

    “Solidworks seems to be drifting away from geometry creation.”

    “DS are lost to the dark side of pyramid schemes, racketeering and
    social engineering. They have picked up on the looting scams and
    leveraging the banksters have perfected and adapted it to the equally
    unsexy world of CAD.”

    “Now too Autodesk are going to the cloud or so they say so the whole
    situation just became more sticky. Just because corporations exist to
    become bigger corporations and have to beat competitors any likelihood
    that the right thing will be done for users is quite miniscule. This is
    all about lock in and profit for DS and not serving customers.”

    “The CAD that stays out of the cloud will win.”

    Jon Banquer
    San Diego, CA


  2. It is the silliest idea which I when or heard

  3. What Autodesk has done to 3dsmax in the last years is simply a joke. This guy should go and

    spend a month using the crap they are producing instead of having hallucinations about the future. Really who put this guy in charge ? This is the very first time me and my Company are seriously considering to get away from anything labeled Autodesk. 

  4. it’s going to be something else when “the cloud” bursts its bubble

  5. And waht happens WHEN they get hacked, as it WILLL happen

  6.  It can’t have been that bad if this is the first time you are considering leaving Autodesk.

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