Autodesk extends support for Mac

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With many rumours now linking Autodesk product development with Apple OSX ports, the company has created a web page to guide Mac users best-run Autodesk applications on their Intel-based Macintosh computers.

There are two levels of supported software: Mac compatible (native) and BootCamp-compatible. On first glance it’s pretty obvious that much of Autodesk’s OSX compatible software has come from acquisitions along the way; Alias Design, ImageModeler, Maya, Stitcher Unlimited and Mudbox to name but a few. However, Autodesk now offers support to users trying to run Inventor, AutoCAD, Max Design and the Revit suite running 32-bit Windows under BootCamp.

For those non-Mac users amongst our readers, Apple’s switch to Intel processors enables Macintoshes to run either Leopard OSX (a UNIX-based operating system) or Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7 using an boot utility called BootCamp.

There are Windows emulation tools for the Mac, namely VMWare Fusion and Parallels Desktop, which enable Windows and OSX to run simultaneously. These are not supported directly by Autodesk although bloggers such as Autodesk’s Shaan Hurley has had some success in running AutoCAD software under emulation.

It’s a small but important statement by Autodesk. The company is now serious about Apple and looks set to develop more native CAD applications for this growing platform. Insiders at Autodesk have told me that AutoCAD for OSX is actively being considered, while Inventor for OSX would be a challenge but not impossible. The high percentage of Macs with students in Universities is being taken a lead indicator that there will be increased popularity of the platform in coming years, at the expense of Windows-based workstations.

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