AutoCAD Coming Back to Apple After 18 Years

I still remember the last version of AutoCAD—probably the biggest software in the planet only third to Office and Photoshop—for Macintosh. That was 18 years ago. Autodesk left the Mac, vowing never to return...until today.

AutoCAD 2011 for Mac OS X is now official.

To people who have been using computers for more than two decades—like myself—this is quite shocking news, even while we knew that the beta have been circulating around for a while now. The company even acknowledges that in their announcement: "You've waited long enough. AutoCAD 2011 for Mac is here." Heck, their promotional video even has a mug with the old rainbow Apple logo on it.

AutoCAD Coming Back to Apple After 18 Years

They are not just doing a cheap port of the Windows version. They are jumping in with full support for all core Mac OS X features, including multitouch gestures and even a pro app-like user interface that reminds me of Apple's own Final Cut Pro. All the features of AutoCAD 2011 will also be present in the Mac OS X version, from NURBS to shading to the obligatory DWG file format.

AutoCAD Coming Back to Apple After 18 Years

If that wasn't enough, they are also releasing a viewer for iOS devices that will allow for editing and annotation. I'm sure that architects and engineers everywhere would jump at the idea of being able to carry 200 DWG files around in their iPads with mini-AutoCAD.

Carol Bartz—now at Yahoo, and back then the almighty Autodesk CEO—must be livid. I know I am. [Autodesk]