May 13, 2010 at 2:57 pm
I must agree with Jon Banquer comment. Ie been a ***
Solidworks user since the beginning (1997). Over the past couple of
years Ie noticed a degradation in the usability of the Solidworks
product. Having been spoiled by the ealier years of Solidworks
development, where enhancements were just thatnhancements, Ie
noticed that each new release seem to break (usability, large assembly
performance, PDM, Motion, etc.) more than they fix.
In any case, Il be test driving Autodesk Inventor this summer, base
on one simple fact&D investment. Ie reviewed the Annual Report for
Solidworks and Autodesk. Autodesk invested $576.1 million in R&D for
2009, where i expect 65% ($374.4 million) was used for development of
The Autodesk R&D budget is equal to the total revenue of the
Solidworks product lines. Dessault spent approximatly $500 million on
R&D, but I estimate the lions share went to improving PLM (corporate
focus) as opposed to the main stream CAD product line (Solidworks).
Based on revenue percentates I estimate the R&D budget of Solidworks
at $100 Million, or 1/4 what Autodesk is investing in the market.
Lastly, the tone of each Annual Report says even more. Dessault
Systems is focus on its PLM product line which is probably where most
of its R&D budget is directed. On the other hand, Autodesk is focused
on their applications (AutoCAD, Inventor, Maya, 3DMAx, etc.). If these
trends continue at each company, I expect Inventor, as well as other
Autodesk products to grab significant MCAD market share based on
improving the robustness and usability through R&D investment.