Autodesk eyes high performance Wintel computing

ORLANDO — Autodesk has been secretly working with Intel and Microsoft to transition its software to multi-core and 64-bit computing, said its chief operating officer at the company’s University user conference.

Marking AU’s 13th year, 5,000 users, customers, partners and industry media have gathered here for four days of intensive user training sessions, classes, business meetings, networking and special events.

COO Carl Bass gave only a glimpse of the future announcement during the conference’s general session. He did not disclose any specifics regarding timeline or impact of this move.

During a press conference, Robert Kross, vice-president of manufacturing solutions commented on the need for such an investment. “Multicore and 64-bit is important to us, we expect all our product lines to go there,” said Kross, adding he sees more opportunities for growth in multicore.

A repeated point made by several executives, including Autodesk president and CEO Carol Bartz, was that digital design is replacing paper and those users still committed to 2D quickly need to make the conversion to 3D in order to stay afloat in the marketplace.

“If your organization isn’t joining the digital world and 3D, inevitably you will lose,” said Bartz. Adding that the transition from 2D to 3D can be unsettling, she assured customers that there is a path to help them through the change.

For Bass, converging disciplines is another key area that will inescapably shape how business is done. “Companies are going to drive to a connected process. We see a world in which all disciplines come together and interoperate,” he said.

Bass also noted that acquisitions, like the most recent of Toronto-based Alias, will continue to be a vital part of Autodesk’s future. And although he didn’t reveal any details, Allan Steel, general manager of the Design Solutions Group (DSG) for Autodesk Canada, said it allows new opportunities to penetrate.

“For the media and entertainment side, which is a separate group, they’re very excited about this because there’s a great deal of synergy that fills the whole gamut from film to production to the gaming and animation side of the business,” said Steel.

Bill Griffin, senior director of North American channel sales, said it makes sense to bring both businesses together in the areas of design as well as media and entertainment.

“They have a vibrant business and so do we, there’s going to be some overlap and rounding out solutions, but it’s not like we’re starting from zero,” said Griffin.

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