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Autodesk expands Mac application line, enters Mac App Store


Last October Autodesk announced AutoCAD for Mac 2011, signaling a return of the computer automated drafting app of choice to the Mac after a fifteen-year absence. Today Autodesk followed up by announcing two new products for the Mac and a Lion-optimized update to its flagship software.

AutoCAD LT 2012 for Mac is available only through the Mac App Store. AutoCAD LT will set you back a cool US$899.99, but the cost is understandable if automated drafting is your thing. The differences between AutoCAD LT and the full version of AutoCAD for Mac can be seen here.

AutoCAD for Mac 2012 was built specifically for OS X Lion. The flagship app will be available on August 19th and cost $3,995, but it won't be in the Mac App Store.

AutoCAD WS for Mac is a free app that provides tools for viewing, editing and sharing designs in AutoCAD formats. Think of it as Adobe Reader for AutoCAD. AutoCAD WS for Mac has complimentary versions on Windows and iOS, which allows users to collaborate on designs across multiple platforms -- desktop, mobile and web. AutoCAD WS for Mac ships August 19th.

In the official press release Amar Hanspal, senior vice president of Autodesk Platform Solutions and Emerging Business said, "Since the release of AutoCAD for Mac last year, customer feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, further validating the need for professional design and engineering software on the Mac platform. Bringing AutoCAD LT and AutoCAD WS to the Mac shows our continued commitment to making design more accessible for an ever-greater number of people to shape the world around them."

What's also notable about AutoCAD LT is that Autodesk is the one of the first major publishers to bring its flagship product to the Mac App Store. The thing that stopped them from bringing the full version of AutoCAD for Mac to the Mac App Store was its price: $3,995. As Hanspal noted, developers can not price apps above $999.99 on the Mac App Store.

With Autodesk leaping into the Mac App Store it will be interesting to see if other major developers like Adobe and Microsoft follow suite with their flagship products.

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