Apple is trending these days. Not surprising me. At the same time, I don’t want to make this post a place where Apple fan boys will argue with Wintel aborigines. I read the following information week article “Building The Mac Office“. I found the beginning of the phrase very PLM-wish-list-like:
Macs generally require fewer IT resources and retain their value better than Windows-based PCs — that’s a key consideration for cash- and resource-strapped small and midsize businesses. And the iPhone and iPad, with their strong Mac integration, make it easier for businesses to move into the new era of mobile computing.
I decided to make a small exercise and find out what CAD and PLM software is available or recently became available for Apple related platforms.
CAD on Mac
I found Autodesk as a absolute leader in presenting Apple-compatible software on their website. Navigate to the following link – Mac Compatible Products to find both Mac OS and Apple hardware compatibility with Autodesk products. Another interesting link – Pure Mac, you can use to find Mac-compatible CAD systems. I can find another interesting list of ranked CAD software for Mac on the following CNET download website. In addition to that Siemens NX software 2 years ago announced their NX software available on Mac. Navigate to the following link to figure out more.
Rumors, App Store and more…
Product availability for Mac is actively rumored on the internet. You can find a significant number of forum posts and references related to the availability of existing software packages on the Mac platform. SolidWorks made a significant rumored announcement about new technologies coming on Mac a year ago. However, on the last SolidWorks World 2011 in San-Antonio, I haven’t seen many Apple machines on stage. Recent release of App Store on Mac introduced the next story in app distribution. Started in iTunes, followed by iOS App Store and now coming on Mac, it can be a new way to distribute tools.
As I wrote recently iOS became a popular place to make experiments by many companies. I posted couple of weeks ago -3D CAD/ PLM on iPad: Future or Baloney? iOS (iPod, iPad, iPhone) became a success story. On the following slide, you can see some statistics about how iOS is proliferating.
The PLM for Mac story is questionable for me. I can see meaning of desktop design tools. However, PLM products are very likely become Web-based. Together with iOS apps mentioned above, PLM web tools can provide a complete Mac-compliant story.
What is my conclusion? It will take some time for CAD/PLM vendors to build a complementary Mac story. After years of windows dominance, it seems to me Apple found a new dominant trend – usability. However, don’t take me wrong. In my view, this is not only about coolness. I don’t think I made an exhaustive list of products in this post. If you know about any products I didn’t mention here, please share links and your opinion with me. I want to share one personal story with you. One of my good friends recently moved from Windows laptop to a new Mac Air. He wasn’t a big fan of Apple and his needs in the laptop was limited to Office apps and the internet. Surprisingly, he found Macbook Air more stable and usable – fewer crashes, fast start-up times, better performance. Just an opinion. YMMV.