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Autodesk does its duty at trade show

Autodesk provided a long list of offerings at A/E/C Systems '96.

A/E/C Systems '96, the premier computer trade show for the architecture, engineering and construction industries, is not complete without a round of announcements from CAD software giant Autodesk, and the company obliged today with a long list.

Autodesk is the world's fourth-largest PC software vendor and controls 32 percent of the PC design software market, according to market research firm Dataquest Dataquest. The company is best known for its AutoCAD computer-aided design application for engineers and architects. Two months ago, the company also spun off a new division to market 3D Web authoring tools and file formats to help architects and engineers exchange files on the Internet.

Today's announcements included:
--the acquisition of CadZooks, makers of the 3D viewing software Reality Check, to let designers "walk through" a project in its early stages to identify problems.
--the release of version 1.1 of Autodesk View, a viewing tool that lets users who do not have the AutoCAD design software installed see drawings and documents stored in AutoCAD and other files. The new version, available in July for $295, will let users rotate and invert raster images onscreen and substitute fonts. The product also supports Windows 95 and NT for the first time.
--the release of a beta of the Whip plug-in for Netscape Navigator. The plug-in and Autodesk's new DWF (Drawing Web Format) allow users to download and view large design files by compressing and transmitting vector data--lines, arcs, and circles--instead of bitmaps. Released as a prototype in April, Whip also now works with the Internet Explorer browser from Microsoft. It is due for final release this summer.
--the repackaging of several Autodesk products into one bundle dubbed the AEC Professional Suite. The $4,095 bundle includes AutoCAD, AutoVision, a library of architectural design components, and Autodesk View.

Autodesk is the world's fourth-largest PC software vendor and controls 32 percent of the design software market, according to Dataquest.

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