“This free online application, developed by Dassault Systèmes, allows consumers to imagine and create realistic 3-D models — such as of buildings and structures — then share them through Microsoft Virtual Earth and online communities.”
Dominating the Market?
This, of course, continues Dessault’s efforts to dominate the CAD market. Aligning with Microsoft, as they have done in the past, is not a bad way of going about it either. This is obviously a move to compete against Google’s SketchUp and 3D warehouse, but who do you think would win?
Is sharing market strength a problem or solution? I see this as something that could hold back develop and affect the Microsoft/Dessault relationship negatively. Two entities, Microsoft and Dessault, following up on technology where one entity, Google, has been driving. Additionally SketchUp has become a household name online that has reached designers with its simple approach to constructing models and has interested hobbyist types with its novelty. 3DVia is a recognized name in the CAD industry, but hasn’t had the exposure that SketchUp has. Google Maps works better across browsers and their API seems to be more popular.
Virtual Earth isn’t so bad though. It was the Webware 100 winner this summer and the map actually looks cleaner than Google Maps. There’s plenty of web apps using it as well and the Version 6 API has added lots more features.
They both require downloads and a little getting used to, but with easy interface and an established and loyal user base SketchUp remains the attractive options to me. What do you think?