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SolidWorks has collected together its DWG-related software and made it into a series: DWGseries (thanks for Bill Fane for the tip).
- DWGgateway (free) for opening and editing any DWG file using any version of AutoCAD. (This is not stand-alone software, like Autodesk's, but runs inside AutoCAD).
- DWGviewer (free) a.k.a. eDrawings Viewer for AutoCAD users, views and emails DWG and DXF files.
- DWGeditor (30-day demo) edits AutoCAD drawings (based on CADopia IntelliCAD).
What interests me is this sentence from SolidWorks: DWGeditor is a standalone editing tool for SolidWorks users and their colleagues, who occasionally need to create, share, and edit native DWG files.
In the past, SolidWorks has been lothe to use the word "create" in conjunction with DWGeditor; they did not want to be seen competing with Autodesk in the 2D world. But now that Autodesk has taken over both sales titles for Inventor (most selling in a year, most selling for all time), SolidWorks is getting more aggressive.
For example, DWGeditor right now is available only for 30 days free on its own, but buying SolidWorks gets you a 3-fer-1 license: "so you can offer DWGeditor to two of your coworkers and save on costs." As the next step, I would expect to see DWGeditor go completely free, except that would clash with the other IntelliCAD consortium members (Cadopia, Bricscad, etc) trying to sell the product.
Here's how badly Autodesk is crushing SolidWorks: Inventor has sold more seats in half the time.
CAD Software - Inventor - SolidWorks
Seats Last Quarter - over 12,000 - 8,005 -- numbers exclude education seats
Total Seats - 511,300 - 452,000 -- numbers include education