Autodesk testing cloud applications

SAN RAFAEL – Autodesk, the global leader in computer aided design (CAD) software, is moving cautiously but steadily toward cloud computing.

According to Dr. Andrew Anagnost, vice president of suites and Web services, the company is beta testing several cloud-enhanced applications, with first commercial deployment scheduled for 2011.

Cloud computing allows users to access applications over the Internet instead of purchasing them for the desktop. It’s a radical change from Autodesk’s approach, which has been to license software suites for designers to download onto their own computers.

“Our approach is different than other software developers,” said Dr. Anagnost. “We’re not just moving our applications onto the cloud, but we’re extending the power of the cloud to the desktop.”

Autodesk’s initial deployments are in the areas of visualization and simulation, he said. One application allows designers to place many different views of a product or building on the desktop in a very short period of time.

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