As a corporate manager dealing with all sorts of "Windows" issues, I would like to see a Linux version of AutoCAD. Microsoft is constantly doing "upgrade" changes to the user interface, systems integration (HAL), and other functions that require constant updates and upgrades that are costly in both capital (software) and operational (installation, maintenance, and training) costs. In addition to that Microsoft products are the most "hacked" in the world, which necessitates additional capital and operational costs, and effects the performance of all of the desktop and server systems. It has gotten so bad that we have moved the systems that do design and graphics to an isolated ("black") network so that additional performance degrading software protection is not needed. A major portion of the capital and operational costs of having and using AutoCAD would be saved by having a Linux version of AutoCAD. This has become such a major issue that even the use of AutoCAD is now in question. I am hoping that the management of AutoCAD will take this issue into consideration.
Wish in one hand...
Seriously though, you will need to express this directly to Autodesk. I love the idea of ACAD on an open OS. If all that you are doing is 2D stuff, Draftsight is a Linux option. http://www.3ds.com/products/draftsight/free-cad-so
To play devils advocate (from a system-independant user), are you saying that Linux development is stagnant and never updated? They never fix any bugs? System protection is necessary to protect your data regardless of OS. A phrase I've heard is "Security through obscurity is no security at all". On top of all of that, consider that the development budget is a finite bucket which must be distributed across the Windows version, and now the Mac version as well. Is there enough water in the bucket to support Linux development as well, or are all three going to be left thirsty? In a tight economy its easy to get over extended trying to cover all options rather than focusing on doing one or two in a sustainable means.
I'm not in favour of new versions to support. The current ones need a lot of work. What about those HP blade workstations, stick your AutoCADs on there and no security issues?
While Linux is not stagnant in the since that there are bug fixes and improvements in code performance and integration between 32 bit and 64 bit OS and applications, Linux is not constantly changing the user interface, functionality, and appearance in ways that require constant re-training and re-imaging to keep up with the changes. Changes in Linux have been more gradual and seem to be guided more by the user comunity than some Microsoft corporate "engineer".
I work in an engineering office in a country with a 2.5mb/s connection for 6 million people. In my situation, a "black network" would never work. I've seen standalone systems infected during configuration with a USB viruses. I don't allow any I/O under windows except to a Total Station. Windows upgrades are not an option; virus updates are not a viable option. The bandwidth simply isn't there.
For basic drafting, Draftsight from Dassalt functions well and required 0 hours retraining for our CAD Persons. Out of four machines in the office configured for basic CAD, only the Linux Box works. The box requires zero maintenance, and bandwidth. In my view, Autodesk may totally lose the basic 2D CAD market, if it hasn't been done already.
If AutoCAD doesn't want to support a lot of linux flavors, there's a very easy answer: AutoCAD Linux. Or AutoCAD VAs.
Google, HP, Apple, IBM, & Oracle have all developed or bought their own versions of Unix, Linux or what not. Autodesk is probably one of the largest software companies not to have their own *IX.
How many months did these companies wait to get the investment back? 18? 6?
The point is, Windows was successful because people didn't care about their OS, they just wanted their software to work. And customers haven't changed, AutoDesk on a CAD workstation just absolutely has to work.
Where would humans be if we all had the exact same immune system? Dead. Windows is headed in that direction, and Autodesk may go with it.
Google, HP, Apple, IBM, Oracle, AutoDesk. One of these is not like the others. What is profitable for them may not be profitable for the other. And even if AutoDesk develops its own Linux variant, how many companies will drop what they have (Windows or Linux) in favor, given that in solving one compatibility problem you have just created more with other programs.
Give it a few years. Linux doesn't have the mainstream traction that Mac has right now. Aside from a number of very loud "eeeevil Micro$oft" type folks there isn't much use of Linux in the design market.
How much of a premium over the cost of Windows version are you willing to pay?
What do you project the market (# of seats) for others willing to pay this premium?
What (who) is the competition if Autodesk does not make this move?
How much of the market do you project will move to the competing product?
I agree. Linux is a much better platform...and more stable. I have to constantly reload my windows partition because it gets corruped...slow....virus...something. My Linux box has been running strong for 5 years.....same machine...different partition. I would eliminate windows completly if it were not for autodesk.