Yesterday I blogged about my thoughts on SolidWorks V6, CGM and Parasolid. That led to an interesting discussion, which at the time of this writing, sits at 28 comments. One of my readers asked me whether it was premature of me to talk about the architecture of a future version of SolidWorks and wondered whether I had any inside information on this topic. Although my company is a SolidWorks Solution Partner, at this time I do not have any inside information on what SolidWorks V6 will be like or how the current Windows version of SolidWorks is going to evolve. These are merely my thoughts on the subject. Time will tell whether I am right or wrong.
But you see, I don’t have the patience to wait for time. So I decided to ask the one person who would be able to tell me right now – SolidWorks’ new CEO Bertrand Sicot. This is what he wrote to me:
“We are developing SolidWorks V6 to be a next-generation design application that has truly innovative solutions to problems that are faced by designers every day. We have already demonstrated many of our ideas in the design preview shown at SolidWorks World 2010 in Anaheim. You have hit the nail on the head—this is our opportunity to really get it right for our users, with new products built for online, desktop and mobile access. The Windows-based version SolidWorks that our customers use today will continue to be improved and enhanced for years to come.”
So there you have it. Straight from the horse’s mouth. The current Windows-based version of SolidWorks will be improved and enhanced for years to come. How much it will be enhanced and for how long is anybody’s guess. I don’t think even the folks at SolidWorks know today. I guess they will let the circumstances decide what happens to the Windows-based version of SolidWorks.
As regards the Parasolid modeling kernel, the huge royalties that SolidWorks pays Siemens PLM today will dwindle as users start adopting SolidWorks V6, which we now know is powered by CGM. At some point SolidWorks will merely be paying Siemens PLM royalties for Parasolid Communicator, the technology used to access Parasolid data, just like how every other CAD vendor is doing today.
This, I’m certain, is going to happen.