Beth, when I was thinking about what could be driving down costs for CAD, I pondered whether cloud computing was a factor. For the vendor, however, I'm not sure cloud computing is a cost saver. From the vendor's point if view, it seems like cloud computing would be a more expensive way to serve the customer. When you license the product outright, it lives on the customer's computer. Seems like that would be less expensive than running it your server and letting the customer access it.
@Rob and @Naperlou: I think you're both right. I think there's been a lot more competition in the CAD market with lower cost offerings like Alibre, SpaceClaim, Kubotek, and others, which is driving down the overall cost of software in this category. But more than that, I think it's the growing popularity and feasibility of cloud-based offerings and pay-as-you-go or utility-based pricing models. CAD and design tool vendors are taking a page from mainstream business software providers and experimenting with new delivery models and licensing schemes. I think @Naperlou is right that everyone will be better off as these new models mature and gain traction.
Beth, I agree that we are seeing a sea change in the CAD world. I think that it is driven by the whole pay as you go software pricing model that we are seeing in the cloud and in other areas. This will also greatly exapnd the market for these products as well. I think the vendors will be better off in the long run.
I think you're right--CAD software licenses have traditionally been so cost-prohibitive for many that they resort to using educational versions or dabbling in arrangements that aren't on the up and up when it comes to legal licensing structures.
I think we're going to see big changes as CAD and PLM vendors get with modern times and recognize that $5K to $10K individual license fees just don't cut it in a world of pay-as-you-go, utility-based software pricing models. While lower cost licenses have always been a customer requirement the vendors tried to meet (I know I'll open the door for argument there), there really are options today allowing them to make good on their intentions. I think we all just have to stay tuned.
Beth, I know some of the professionals are using educational version of CAD for professional services in an unhealthy manner. Every year they are distributing some licenses to educational institutions for learning purposes, with one year key. So the lab peoples are reselling it outside to professionals and many pirated copies are also in market. Inorder to avoid such illegal practices, the best way is to fix the pricing tag to an affordable level.
In an age of globalization and rapid changes through scientific progress, two of our societies' (and economies') main concerns are to satisfy the needs and wishes of the individual and to save precious resources. Cloud computing caters to both of these.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.