OK, it has been confirmed. SolidWorks will not be available as a desktop application after some period of time. Earlier SolidWorks CEO Jeff Ray gave me a twisted reply when I asked him whether all his customers will eventually have to move to the cloud, whether they wanted to or not. Today SolidWorks Social Media Manager, Matthew West and I had the following conversation in the comments of the final post of my series titled “The Dassault Systemes Cloud Strategy”:
Matthew: I think the main thing to bear in mind regarding what we’re doing is that when it’s rolled out, SolidWorks cloud apps will be an option for customers, not a requirement.
Deelip: You may want to cross check that with your CEO. That’s not what he told me when I specifically asked him that question. See the fourth and fifth paragraphs at http://www.deelip.com/?p=1349. Either you or I have caught the bull by the tail, and for your customer’s sake, I am hoping that it is me.
Matthew: What I meant was when it’s rolled out, it’s not an all or nothing thing. The installed version and cloud version will coexist for some period of time.
So if you are a SolidWorks user, you better start loving the cloud because Dassault Systemes has already made up your mind for you. Basically I think this is what is going to happen. You will learn to love the cloud and then you will learn to let go of that beloved desktop version of SolidWorks that you will have been clinging on to. Your design data and intellectual property will be stored on Dassault Systemes servers whether you like it or not. And you will learn to deal with it. Whether or not you will get to download a local copy for backup still remains an unanswered question at this point in time. I have given up asking. You will need to have a damn good internet connection wherever and whenever you feel like working. So you better start keeping an eye on the latest internet technologies. If you have been using a pirated version of SolidWorks, you will need to start to think of ways to pay for a SolidWorks service contract. If you are not on subscription and have been taking years to upgrade to new versions of SolidWorks or have been waiting for a few service packs to be released before you upgrade, you will need to let go of that “bad” habit. And yes, I believe the same will hold true for CATIA users as well.
On the positive side (not that I am implying that all the above is negative) you will also be part of a revolution that will change the CAD industry permanently. And the only way that revolution will succeed is if you give it your full cooperation using your understanding, patience and money. That’s the chicken and egg situation that Dassault Systems, SolidWorks and you will have to sit together and figure out. Make no mistake, the success or failure of this revolution largely depends on you. I wish you all the very best.
And by the way, I will be joining the revolution as well. I make SolidWorks add-ins, remember?