Autodesk cuts prices on budget CAD apps

Under fire from cut-priced rivals, Autodesk has lowered prices on its entry-level CAD software products.

AutoCAD LT for Windows 3.1 is reduced from £495 to £399 while AutoSketch Release 2.1 is almost halved from £99 to £59. Separately, the firm said AutoCAD LT for Windows 95 is now available at £595 (all list prices).

Autodesk said that the cuts were intended to make their products appeal to a wider spectrum of users but maker of rival product TurboCAD, IMSI, said price pressure was hurting the giant.

"We're definitely a thorn in their side and it's clear they're cutting as a result of price pressure," said Chris Alexandre, IMSI's UK managing director. "We have achieved a lot in mail-order and retail channels and price has clearly had a part to play. These cuts don't concern us too much. Probably, a more significant cut would have been in order. I'm sure they're hurting and looking for a way to get volume."

Alexandre added that at a £35 list price and £25 street price, IMSI's TurboCAD Designer and similar products like SoftKey's KeyCAD remain much cheaper than AutoSketch. "Autodesk has typically had a monopoly but if the only business you know is selling to corporates and VARs, it's difficult to change."

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