AutoCAD returns to the Mac after nearly 20 years

Autodesk announced that it is releasing AutoCAD 2011 for Mac OS X -- its first version for Mac since it abandoned the platform in 1992. There will also be a free mobile app for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch.

Autodesk, the maker of AutoCAD design software, announced that it will release AutoCAD 2011for Mac OS X sometime this fall (The New York Times reports that it will be in October) in both Europe and North America. They are taking pre-orders now.

After a hiatus of 18 years, not only will AutoCAD be available for Macs, but there will also be a free mobile app for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch. According to Amar Hanspal, senior vice president for platform solutions at Autodesk, it was the resurgence of Mac computer sales and Apple's overall popularity that kindled the comeback.

The Mac accounted for nearly 10 percent of all PCs sold around the world in the first quarter, according to Gartner, or more than double its share just a few years ago. In the most recent quarter, Apple sold nearly 3.5 million Mac computers, a 33 percent increase from the same quarter a year earlier. That rate of growth far exceeded the overall PC market. (NYT)

The price tag is hefty; it will be the same as the PC version, which is MSRP $3995. What do you think of this news? Have designers and developers moved on from AutoCAD to other design software options anyway, or do you think it will be a hot item?