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Mac OS X version of AutoCAD due out in October

Autodesk is bringing AutoCAD, its industry standard design software, back to the Mac in October. A free AutoCAD viewer app for iOS is on its way as well.

Autodesk senior vice-president Amar Hanspal told the Financial Times that a Mac OS X version of its flagship software will be released by the end of October. Pricing will remain the same as the Windows version.

“Apple is thrilled that Autodesk is bringing AutoCAD back to the Mac and we think it's the perfect combination for millions of design and engineering professionals,” said Apple senior vice-president of Worldwide Product Marketing Philip Schiller in a news release.

The last time AutoCAD was available on the Mac was in 1992. 13 releases have followed since then, including the current Windows-only Release 25, which was released in March.

The addition of the $4,000 program to the Mac software lineup could help Apple see continued growth in Mac enterprise sales. According to figures from the June quarter, Mac business sales increased 50% year-over-year, compared to 16% growth in the market.

AutoCAD has over 10 million users, many of whom, according to Hanspal, have requested a Mac version of the software.

Hanspal also announced an upcoming iOS application, AutoCAD WS, that will allow users to view and make small modifications to their designs. The app will work on the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch.

The iPad's not the only tablet that Autodesk is interested in. "The tablet is becoming an interesting form factor. There are multiple operating systems people are looking at," Hanspal said.

A browser-based limited-function version of AutoCAD is also in development.

In May, screenshots of a Mac OS X beta of AutoCAD were published on an Italian Mac forum, confirming speculation that Autodesk was at work on a Mac OS X release.