Is SolidWorks Linking Themselves to a Falling Apple?

As a part of the cultural shift we have all noticed at SolidWorks, one of the things I have heard from time to time is that SolidWorks is trying to emulate the success that Apple has had. You can’t really blame a company for wanting to do that. Apple’s success has been legendary, whether deserved or not.  But here’s the problem. The original SolidWorks — lets just define that as the SolidWorks under Hirschtick — was in some respects already more Apple-like than most companies. They had cult-like loyalty, a CEO that customers could relate to, and an 80/20 product that was somewhat dumbed down in favor of usability, and that product could replace more complex stuff in some situations. Those are the most positive aspects that SolidWorks and Apple seemed to share, but the original SolidWorks had other positive traits that Apple didn’t have: They really did at one point listen to their customers. The product has always been fairly priced for what it did. Early SolidWorks would occasionally admit a mistake.

Part of what made SolidWorks so attractive was that Hirschtick was an engineer. “By engineers For engineers” was more than just a motto. Engineers want to buy from engineers, we distrust MBAs, salesmen and marketing types.  But the CAD market has “matured” in a way – there are few companies that just sell CAD any more, and to some extent, they sell less and less directly or solely to engineers, so appealing to engineers seems to make less marketing sense than it used to.

For Apple, the transition from being an odd-ball laughingstock to defining tech-as-fashion is one that’s hard to quantify in some sort of formula. Is it the industrial design? I find Apple designs to be actually rather boring, inhuman, sparse, and cold. Is it the software? Software that’s locked down and limited isn’t appealing to everyone. The main thrust of Apple products seems to be good quality hardware, but “dumb it down, market it back up” so it doesn’t do much, but you make it look magical. So that you are buying sturdy stuff, but stuff that isn’t really cutting edge. “Power” and “capability” are not words that I associate with Apple products. “Easy to use” and “simple” are. It’s as if Apple wants to create a “worry free” product that does about 80% of what is available. Which in the end, is also something you could probably say about SolidWorks.

Take Siri. You might be tempted to confuse Siri with “power”, because it was developed into  an early consumer-level AI system. (Started out as a DARPA project). I don’t think the intention was to help pathetic loners find tomato soup on rainy days, but just to dumb down the search interface. I might make fun of it, but it’s not all bad. I use Vlingo, an Android based voice interface that doesn’t do the useless gimmicky conversational tricks that Siri does, but it activates commands, apps, searches, reads and writes text messages and emails, and other  useful stuff. Great for driving.

The way Siri is portrayed in ads is I think a little pathetic. Apple is mainly about technology for people who hate technology. To be fair, I do know a couple of people who are highly technical who own Apple stuff, but these guys are exceptions. Apple users are like – the people you see in movies using computers. Austin Powers learns the internet on an Apple. Tragically hip, baby.

What is it about Apple that some people just really hate? Maybe it would be a patent for a rectangle with rounded corners. Or the new connector that shuns USB standards just so they can bilk another $29 out of their beloved customers. Now, I’ll give them this, the Lightning is reversible, and there’s nothing that annoys me as much about USB as the fact that I can never tell which way it goes in. Still, is that worth an entire new market of proprietary connectors, adapters, and replacement accessories? Not very sustainable, that. But then sustainability has always been and will always be secondary to profitability. Sustainability is only invoked when it increases profitability, not when it limits it.

Maybe the “walled garden” is actually more of a prison than a garden? Is that iTunes lock-in really such a beautiful thing? You used to be able to buy music where ever you wanted to, and keep it where ever you wanted to, but not anymore. Maybe what annoys people about Apple is the premium price for a product that isn’t very flexible (as in customizable), or one that lacks some really basic functionality, like Flash, user accessible file systems, near field communication, 4G missing until iPhone 5, replaceable batteries, SD card slots, wireless charging, and need I say turn-by-turn directions. Was the “you’re holding it wrong” antenna-gate not enough? You really need Apple Maps?

Or maybe its that unrelenting smugness and the over self-application of the word “beautiful”. Or maybe it was the unfathomable arrogance of a guy who thought he could cure pancreatic cancer better than doctors? Or maybe it’s just those insufferable fanboys. I suppose in a post-Apple world, science will discover that marketing and brand-worship are indeed the strongest forces in the universe.

Since the original SolidWorks already had what some consider to be Apple’s best traits, what is it that this new incarnation of SolidWorks is now trying to emulate?  In the mid ’90s, mid-range CAD, SolidWorks included, was sucking up to Microsoft because Windows was the future. Now, SolidWorks is sucking up to Apple, even though Apple is probably at or just past its peak, and is likely just declining from here [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10]. SolidWorks releases eDrawings for iPad and iPhone, even though the proportion of portable devices at work is definitely in favor of Android. SolidWorks is riding on the tail end of the Apple trend, which is one way to predict failure rather than success.

The Mac curiosity goes back a long way. John McEleney bought a Mac for his home computer. There has been other software that ran on Mac, like the defunct concept modeler Cosmic Blobs. (Where have we heard that “concept modeler” thing before?) We’ve had some new SW employees on this blog defending Apple, and of course Bernard Charles making love marks with extended reality on an iPhone onstage at SolidWorks World. And I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but SolidWorks has included some Apple software in their installation for a couple of releases now. “Bonjour” is a network discovery software that Apple uses to relieve users of the need to configure the network. If you have SolidWorks installed, you have this Apple software installed as well. You can uninstall it, but it will re-install itself again later. Just like other invasive software for iTunes. If you’re into interesting facts, the “Bonjour” software used to be named “Rendezvous”, that magical combination of Apple, and of course French.

So what is it that SolidWorks is going to emulate in Apple?

  • Decline. Though not intentionally, I’d bet.
  • “walled prison” where you are locked inside a cloud-based app, and you can’t use 3rd party software of your chosing, and where your data is locked in a format and on a server that you can’t access directly
  • Dictated terms. Options? Black or white. Because we know what you need better than you do.
  • Unbelievable arrogance, which if you remember is also what put PTC on the bottom of the CAD pile.

I think they will fail at cult status. Lightning can’t strike twice, and the group in charge now does not have the magic touch that Hirschtick had. I don’t think they have what it takes to keep the success going to make the jump (with SolidWorks) from V1 to V6. It’s like sending Gerard Depardieu with a ukelele to replace The Beatles. It’s not clear that they understand the part of the market that only buys CAD. I don’t believe Dassault understands SolidWorks customers at all. On top of all the market conditions, it remains to be seen what the V6 SolidWorks replacement software will be like. It’s possible to make great software, and still completely lose in the market place. Look at Solid Edge.

Anyway, SolidWorks and Apple. I think the time to emulate Apple is over. Of course these plans take time to implement. What’s lacking is a single focused vision of product development tools. Bernard has a vision, but as Evan Yares pointed out recently, isn’t something that you or I will be able to relate to.

You just can’t make up stuff like that.

Posted in V6

28 Replies to “Is SolidWorks Linking Themselves to a Falling Apple?”

  1. To me, Apple treats its customers with the sort of contempt seen by Microsoft in the 1990s—only worse. They’ve softened some of their abusive stances with things like iTunes music rights, but that they took the original stance of “just download/pay for your music again” for those who lost hard drives, etc. at all is evidence of serious contempt for their customers. No thanks.

    Back in late August, when everyone was owning/buying APPL stock, I spoke to a retired Boomer similarly invested (ironically, while fixing his computer). I said something like, “you might want to consider whether to keep that stock—you know, buy low, sell high”. He said, “No, I’ll sell it next year for $1,000 or $1,100.” That prompted a laugh from me, and a “I don’t think so, Bob”. He’s a smart guy—probably sold before riding the stock this far down. Similar fever caught many hedge funds in a vice, though. And I don’t see this economy turning around to sustain such nonsense with dollar devaluation making simple things like heating houses and eating more and more difficult. Best to stick with the “old” phone you got several months ago than stay on the every-six-months release schedule (or whatever it is these days). We’ve been in “recovery” since 2009, and making a living is getting harder and harder with more and more people losing out. Blessed be the power of Bernays!

    Matt—and I don’t mean any offense with this—I found myself automatically reading this post in the voice of Andy Rooney. Just seemed natural. Not that it’s a bad thing—I agree with the sentiment entirely and see similar parallels. And I miss Andy Rooney.

  2. David,
    Interesting comments. I will post your reply to the SE forums and see if someone who is knowledgeable on this will fill us in.

    Yes the cloud. I am watching Autodesk and Dassault and thinking that technology has just put the final nail into the coffin that will soon hold all those grand cloud performance promises and disparate software bits stuck together otherwise known as Frankencad.

  3. @Dave Ault

    So? I currently use a Dell Computer for my SolidWorks – as well as a MacBook Pro for everything else, or when I need SolidWorks portability (run under Boot Camp, 512GB SSD). I’m not a Mac zealot. I’m not arguing that Apple is the end-all, be-all to computing either. I use what tools are best suited for the job and that I feel comfortable using.

    The Mac Pro hasn’t been upgraded in years and so any comparison is likely to be off-the-mark. It’s a shame Apple has seeming abandoned this part of the market.

    I do use my iPhone and iPad extensively in my work and find these devices to be very useful and cost effective. I use a number of CAD and presentation tools on the iPad as well. In the end, these things are just tools to get a job completed.

    -Jim

  4. @Dave Ault
    Dave, thanks for the link to the Nvidia site. Truly a great demonstration of application of multiple processors and GPU-2. The real time CFD air flow analysis on the Porsche with FluiDyna (LButra CFD) is amazing. I encourage everyone that visits this site to check it out.

    Of course an Apple MacPro can’t do anything like this. But to take advantage of multi-core processors and GPU’s you need software that will support this type of hardware. Catia V6 will support real time renderin. LButra will support real time CFD. Question is what will SolidWorks and SolidEdge and Creo support?? Maybe 2-3 processors at best and for most of the time only one. So, how many processors will SolidEdge support two years from now? What offerings are available with NX that will support multiple cores and GPU’s. I have a need to analyze heat exchangers with enhanced tube surfaces. This takes days using Flow using four cores.

    The most exciting aspect of these demos is that they are running on a PC with a Fermi GPU and not on the Cloud. There is HOPE, if only hope is enabled in SW V6.

  5. Jim, let me help you through this. Prices today at Dell and Apple.

    Mac Pro with E3 XEON either 1230 or 1235 3.2 GHZ as Apple does not give actual CPU info and you have to guess or call and get further info. 16 GB ECC 1333 MHZ ram. 1TB 3GBS hd. Only Radeons are offered and they are HD 5770 and 5870 neither of which is good for cad. $2,874.00

    Dell Precision 3600 with E5 XEON 3.6 GHZ. 635 watt 90% efficient power supply. Quadro 4000 designed for professional applications and far better than Radeon. 16GB ECC 1600 memory. 3tb 7200rpm 6GBS hard drive. $2,788.60.

    I am going to open parts you can’t and be done a lot quicker with everything from graphics editing to CAD to FEA to CAM to what ever. Is this incorrect?

    Now if you are willing to spend more money the Dells can become a mini super computer. $2,335.00 adds enough ram to have 64GB ECC memory and an Nvidia Tesla C2075 Computing Processor. Unless there is something I am missing at the Apple site there is nothing even remotely close to a fully specked 3600 Precision and this is not Dells top of the line unit.

  6. Matt,

    I know those aren’t your words.

    Why am I here? Well, I use SolidWorks at least 8 hours x 5 days a week. I rely on your books and generally enjoy what you write. I happen to honestly disagree with your assessment of Apple products. I don’t feel I’m defending Apple – but if there’s something I read that’s just flat out wrong, then I’d hope I’d be able to correct a misconception. If you would rather not have me post on your site, that’s fine too.

    -Jim

  7. I think, Matt, that your view is constrained by the people you know. I know many professionals who use and rely on Apple products.

    And this nonsense how Apple users are “snobs” making up for their “low self assessment” is insulting and ridiculous. If you don’t like Apple stuff, fine. No need to insult or put down others who do.

    -Jim

  8. Interesting post, Matt!

    I’ve never been an Apple fan, because there the form prevail to much over the function, and prise/performance ratio is not the best one. From other hand, it is clear that allays there is people, that differentiate them on possessing something snobbish as excuse for their low self assessment. The apple cult has been built on being “posh” and aside the crowd, while SolidWorks cult was built just in opposite way – stay close tho the mass, be part of the crowd, plus lot of marketing money and sharp focus on students.

    What concerns Solid Edge, you are right – being more advanced and 2-3 years ahead in many areas, it has been totally neglected by UGS management for many years, giving this excellent opportunities to SolidWorks to shine even in areas, where Solid Edge interestedly do the job mich better.

    Now I think SIEMENS finally understood the chance to get back in the movie – they start realizing their supremacy with Synchronous Technology in Solid Edge and we may expect “No more nice guy” attitude against SolidWorks. It is another problem, that even in the engineering society there is plenty of snobs, and more or less they will have to recognize their “Next Apple CAD”. And I am sure, this will not be Solid Edge – it is more and more focused on real CAD performance!

  9. @matt
    I think that everyone thinks that SolidWorks is a tool for professionals. Professional designers and draftsmen. The Mac is a tool for professional graphic designers. MS Word is a tool for professional secretaries, and now for us that do our own secretarial duties. And Excel is used professionally by many professions.

    Apple did find a niche in consumer electronics that generates HUGE cash flows and profits. They have suceeded in bringing computers to the average person who only needs email and web connectivity. And with some productivity apps that apply to everyone like phone, GPS, and abouot a few hundred thousand others that work on their platform.

    You would better describe SolidWorks as an INDUSTRIAL product. Because that is the market that SW and Dassault is focused on. Apple’s market is 4-5 Billion whereas the market for CAD is 4-5 Million. Truth is that all of the CAD companies in this world are not a pimple on Apple’s ass. Unintentionally, I think that you flatter Dassault greatly just comparing them to Apple…..

    In the computer business the hardware has always been the horse and the software has always been the cart. Software is written to make the hardware work. Hardware is not ever evolved to take advantage of software that has yet to find a platform. The opportunity for all software developers is provide software that leverages the ever increasing power of not only single processors, but thousands of processors working in parallel. Word and Excel can’t utilize MP’s and the price of those products is far less in real terms that it used to be. If SW, SE, and ProE cannot lever advantage out of MP’s, then how much do you think their products will bring in the marketplace in the future?

    I think that SolidWorks could, and maybe should be taught in elementary school. Do you need to understand geometry to use SW, or will SW help you to better understand gemoetry? I think that this is good and hopefully 3D modelling will become less professional because of a wider adaption by infidels in the workplace.

  10. Here’s something that I think some people aren’t thinking about. SolidWorks is a TOOL for PROFESSIONALS, while Apple products are consumer fashion toys. You really can’t treat these the same way. Change is NOT the ultimate good in the universe. Change is something that can be beneficial, or not. How much has a hammer changed in history? First it was a rock, then a rock tied to a stick, then a piece of metal on a stick, then they made the stick out of other materials. It’s a tool. It has a job to do. Every change you make to a tool has to have a purpose and a positive result in quality, cost, ease of use, or productivity. A fashion toy simply has to be new and shiny.

    Oh, and the “old guy” speech doesn’t work on me. I was there too, in 1979 writing game code on a line printer terminal. The “Basic Cookbook”. Excited when TRS80s finally hit. Commodore 64. Apple IIe.

  11. @matt
    Matt,

    While this is your blog, I think that your comments are more based upon your personal history in CAD and may not exactly extend back to the early days of AutoCAD, where it did truly take a very talented and trained individual to use AutoCAD effectively. In those days I employed AutoCad technicians and was truly amazed at their results. CAD was the game changer and drawing boards were on the way to becoming the latest DoDo bird.

    As personal computers became developed to an extent they were usable for basic tasks without writein code, I acquired an IBM PC1 computer, not because of the many applications available for them (like MultiPlan), but because they could be used as dumb terminal to access a mainframe computer for more significant computing tasks. I accepted my new “Cloud” environment as a great move in the right direction….even revolutionary.

    Then one day in the mid 1980’s one of my salesman brought a brand new Mac into the office for his own use. The user interface was revolutionary, and the graphics capabilities were available to non-CAD techies like myself. Within a week I had purchased my first Mac, and it was way more fun than DOS. And I was able to generate process flow diagrams with ClarisDraw that had a WOW factor that sold projects that the AutoCAD techies could not come close to replicating. I could fill rectangles with gradient fills that made them look like pipes. There was no capability to do this in the AutroCAD world.

    About 10 years later SolidWorks introduced a solid modeling product that reminded me of my experience with ClarisCAD. Very easy to use and it would run on a PC! I was aware of ProE that would run on a UNIX workstation that cost at the time about $50-60.000 and I could justify it, but couldn’t fit it in the budget in 1997. Until I had a crisis on a new product wehre I desperately need to design “bolt-up” sheet metal parts. And I found SolidWorks for $5,000 and it would run on Windows. I didn’t even blink and found myself working 18 hours a day to learn SW to bail my self out of a bad situation.

    Between 1997 and now, there are parallels in the evolution of Apple and SolidWorks. The most significant of which is their user acceptance and their development of a cult of users. But therein the comparison ends. Apple continued to evolve their product with new technologies and new alliances with their developers and suppliers. Apple changed their operating system to UNIX based OS-X and they evolved to Intel processors. Solidworks has maintained the Parasolid kernal not so much like religion, but more a business decision that it is better to rent than to own.

    Apple has very sucessfully evolved into new markets with new products. SolidWorks/Dassault would love to be like Apple. But there is a reality about how much innovation can be restrained by old standards. Change and Pain seem to be the same side of a coin…..the other side being Hold and Fold.

    My reality is that I am Holding with SW2009 and hopefully can keep holding for many years becasue SW 2009 is not that bad (at least for me), until I start feeling a little old and irrelevant, and then just to stay young I will change. I have a few friends that program supercomputers with FORTRAN which is the most multi-processor friendly language that I know. The software for any future CAD program has to utilize multiple processors to get the job done. Maybe CAD would be more rewarding than simulating nuclear warheads and other national defense projects. There can be no more excuses that the “program” is single threaded.

    Apple has evolved. SolidWorks is trying very hard to evolve but with a large user base that is focused on the Pain instead of the Gain, I wish them the best of luck.

  12. matt :

    I think sometimes we forget that Blackberries were wildly popular long before iPhone existed. Blackberry had already combined the phone and PDA 5 years before iPhone (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smartphone). Even tablets existed long before the iPad. I own an HP convertible tablet from 6 years back, and slate PCs have been around even longer.

    Some aspects, like the basic functionnalities, came from the Blackberries, and some from the Palm Treos, but the first that could be named a pre-iPhone iPhone is the Motorola Ming. Touch screen, web, e-mail… But an awfull experience meant that only Kirk wannabees had fun with it.

  13. @Jim Anders
    “Keep in mind this was pre-Windows 95 in the late 1980s.”

    I always smile when I see the arguments about interfaces and who came first. The image attached is a capture of a solid modeler I tested in the early 1980s. Notice the screen icons guys. No command line only icons: the program was running on a PC under DOS.

    If you would like to see the first thing I modelled with the software go to;
    http://members.ozemail.com.au/~cadwest1/gallery/Digitizer_Puck.html

    Have a smile guys at what I did as an opening test with a solids modeller on a dos PC with 1984 software.

    [img]http://www.dezignstuff.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Untitled.jpg[/img]

  14. Heh. I remember those days well along with ComputerVision and Applicon systems where you used a large graphics tablet with a pen to activate commands assigned to areas on the tablet. Of course, I remember this mostly because I’m so damn old.

    As I mentioned, CAD user interfaces took a major leap forward starting with two Mac-based CAD programs. Claris CAD and Ashlar Vellum. Both pioneered active line snaps, active alignment lines, etc that we take for granted today in all of our CAD programs. I wrote a book on Claris CAD years ago and that led to Autodesk hiring me for a consulting gig to write and present a white paper on these new interfaces elements and Macintosh user-interface aspects in general. Keep in mind this was pre-Windows 95 in the late 1980s.

    Autodesk didn’t really use any of these user-interface ideas on their first release of Autocad for the Mac but eventually, as with all the other CAD developers, gave much more thought and design effort to user-interaction.

    This attention to user-interface and ease-of-use is one reason why i think SolidWorks did so well in the beginning, particularly when compared to such obtuse user interface nightmares as Pro-E.

  15. @Jim Anders
    “When these programs came out many CAD packages relied on command-line interfaces.”

    Ha, reminds me of my AutoCAD Drafting class in college. About 50 AutoCAD command-line text strings were printed in large type on poster boards and hung from the ceiling. About 33% of our final grade came from the tested memorization of those commands. For the final exam, the poster boards were taken down.

    Cheers, Devon

  16. Stole isn’t quite accurate, Matt.

    http://www.cultofmac.com/126863/in-defense-of-steve-jobs/

    “…Apple would be granted 3 days of access to PARC in exchange for Xerox being allowed to buy 100,000 shares of Apple stock for $10 per share.

    Apple went public a year later, and the value of that stock had grown to $17.6 million. Xerox paid a million for the shares, so essentially Apple paid Xerox $16.6 million for showing its research to Jobs and his team…”

  17. @Jim Anders
    Yeah, ok, Jim, we all know how Apple stole the interface from Xerox (http://www-sul.stanford.edu/mac/parc.html) and then claimed other people stole it from them.

    Don’t get me started on the patent war on technology that Apple is waging. I agree there was more to the patent war, the rectangles are just the most laughable part. The result is that patent law is going to change, and not in a way that will favor Apple’s trolling tactics.

  18. Seems like Microsoft has been the one emulating Apple recently. Microsoft Stores, App Store, building their own hardware, etc. Which is no surprise because just about all the major advances in everyday computing first appeared on the Mac. In fact, all modern-day CAD systems have their user-interface roots in Apple. Even a casual look at the ancient MacDraw, Claris CAD and Ashlar Vellum for the Mac (e.g. active user interfaces) can show this. When these programs came out many CAD packages relied on command-line interfaces.

    Sure, Apple is about making things easy for the average user. If they can do that without stifling the power user then it’s a worthy goal in my opinion. For example, I have full access to the UNIX underpinnings of Mac OS X and if I need file system access for my iOS device I can have it.

    Apple advances go far beyond the obvious look and feel of their products. To say Apple users are simply cult followers ignores the fact that many serious business professionals and scientists rely on and use Apple products. My doctor just switched over to iPads for his practice (two locations) just last week. My scientist friends at JPL rely on the Mac as serious power users. iPads are so embedded into the business world today and these buyers aren’t your so-called “cult” buyers. Do a search on “iPad in business”.

    Is Apple perfect? Far from it. They have had numerous flops and problems like Ping, Maps, Pippin, etc.

    Is Apple the first for everything? Of course, not. As you point out smartphones like the BB existed long before the iPhone. But you have to admit Apple redefined the smartphone. You can look at all smartphones today (including the upcoming BB10) and it’s obvious that these all were influenced by the iPhone. Look at the first versions of Android – looked more like a BB. Same with tablets. Tablets before the iPad were either junk or just unpopular. Now that the iPad is aroud there’s a new standard to be measured against. Without Apple we would likely be using DOS command lines, BB or Window Phones and Windows Tablet PC (circa 2000). And if others come along and build upon what Apple did (without blatant copying) – and provide something better or with more options then the market will respond accordingly.

    PS: The Apple patent skirmish with Samsung was so much more than “rounded rectangles”.

  19. I’m always surprised about how bitter some people are about Apple and it’s success.
    I never owned an Apple product but thank them for leading the way in some field. Without them my wonderful Android phone would probably look like a souped-up Treo.
    And he’s named Gérard Depardieu.

    1. Thx for the spelling correction. Should have looked that one up.

      It’s the philosophy and tactics of Jobs that I dislike more than anything.

      I think sometimes we forget that Blackberries were wildly popular long before iPhone existed. Blackberry had already combined the phone and PDA 5 years before iPhone (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smartphone). Even tablets existed long before the iPad. I own an HP convertible tablet from 6 years back, and slate PCs have been around even longer.

  20. How did Apple prevail in the end? Around 1999 they threw out all the old crap and replaced it with a completely new OS.

    Apple threw away 15+ years of software code of the original MacOS. It had ballooned to the point where add-ons and extensions were part of the norm. The original software was being asked to do so much more by the mid 90’s and it could barely do it. Multitasking really didn’t exist. Sound like SW’s sketcher or feature rebuilder to you?

    So in comes Mac OS X. Based on the NeXT work, which was based on bsd unix. It really gets back to basics on how a computer should be instructed to run, no matter how many processors, processes, or users.

    The smart thing they did was to have a smooth transition. Classic OS ran inside OS X. They have experience with this, with all the hardware transitions (68k to PPC to intel to intel x64). For each one there was a transition period where you were able to run old on new. At some point there was always a cutoff, whether it was new machines or a new OS version where those things weren’t possible anymore. The legacy code hurt more than it helped and it gets cut.

    Apple had a pretty good idea what it was doing before OS X but still had a hard time transitioning away from the classic OS internally. There were a number of failed attempts that they probably wished never went public.

    I hope this is the direction SolidWorks is heading. You know there are some things in SW that are so deeply based that they simply cannot be fixed without a total rewrite- Mate flipping, large sketch solving, patterns, etc. It’s possible that they could be working on this sort of transition, a classic SW running inside Catia, but it simply isn’t ready yet.

    It took Apple few years before everyone was happy with OS X, but it was sure worth it.

    -Tom
    CSWE & 30 year Apple user

  21. Apple has become the poster child for lawsuits and I figure this is a clear cut indicator of lack of development talent so sue your way ahead. Samsung was sued by them and lost. Today Samsung is raising prices of CPU’s to Apple by 20% and what goes around comes around. Other companies are now winning lawsuits against Apple and it appears part of Apples wonderful stuff was stolen from others. Apple was falling behind Intel quickly on their CPU’s and that is why they went to Intel a couple of years ago. They had to or be so far behind in capabilities that even those who drank so much Koolaid they turned colors would begin to notice. Now they are going to go back to their own CPU’s from what I hear and re-enter the cycle of falling behind again while expecting to charge more for less. I am in awe of Apples marketing savy but certainly not their self limited overpriced goods. Oh, and they get viri now to:-) I figure Apple PC’s have peaked in market share and they are going to have to pin their hopes on iPads/Phones and pray they can stick enough pins in their Android voodoo dolls to make Android go away. Google Android market share for harbingers of Apple doom in this area.

    I still have mental pictures of Bernard capering across the stage with his iStuff. Sad and funny at the same time. Question, will two companies losing direction and market sink faster singly or synergistically?

  22. A well written post Matt.

    Interesting that Bernard Charlès Wikipedia bio is lacking any information; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernard_Charl%C3%A8s

    After a few clicks I found this about Mr. Charlès; “Mr. Charlès is a Certified Public Accountant. He was Graduated in Automation and computer science engineering from The prestigious Ecole Normale Supérieure in Cachan, France.” http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/people/person.asp?personId=355365&ticker=DASTY

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