An Italian Mac site revealed screenshots from a beta version of AutoCAD for Mac. Aside from a few native Mac applications, Autodesk's official solution for Mac support has been the Parallels virtual Windows environment.
The images were taken down over the weekend, but still can be seen, at least for the moment, on MacRumors.com. One of the screenshots shows a drawing running in AutoCAD "Mac Edition" Beta 1 (18:1).
AutoCAD is a 2D and 3D design and drafting application that was first released in the 1980s. AutoCAD for the Mac was discontinued in the early 90s. According to the tester that posted the images, this beta runs pretty poorly, but, obviously, there is much time for improvement as this is the first seeding. The Beta is 64-bit only and support for multi-touch gestures (see above screenshot). No word on when the final is expected.
Autodesk's staying out of the market has let other developers fill the vacuum. As I wrote in February, German developer Graebert, is working on ARES, an AutoCAD-compatible program, that will be offered in native versions for Mac, Windows and Linux.
Earlier month, Graebert said it is "on target to provide DWG 2010 support this May [in the Windows version], and continues to conduct beta testing for Mac and Linux versions in anticipation of their forthcoming release." DWG is the AutoCAD design file format.
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