It seems we will be able to run high-end Autodesk applications via web browser, including Revit. Why is this big news? Here's what I'm thinking:
- This pretty much guarantees Autodesk is going all-subscription with their software like Adobe has sometime in the future.
- We will be able to run Revit on our Macs, and we will be able to do LOTS more with our mobile devices like iPads and iPhones.
- All we need is a browser to run them. No more installing programs or plugins on our machines. I'm thinking we will have access to "our" copies of the software so we can remotely install specialized plugins and such onto their computers.
- We will be able to remotely collaborate on projects even better with direct integration into Autodesk360, Dropbox or Google Drive for storing our project files in the cloud. This is huge. We get to choose the place we store the files, which is great. I frankly didn't expect that.
- We will be able to run very complicated models from power-sipping notebook computers like MacBook Airs. High end graphics cards won't be necessary because the partnership with Autodesk also includes two more powerhouses: Amazon web services (super fast) and nVidia (for scalable GPU's) allowing graphics intensive applications to be crunching away on their end while we are effectively just looking through a window on our lower cost machines.
- We won't have to upgrade our machines as often. This is a big deal because the programs we're talking about get hungrier every year for higher performance machines.
I think it's odd that Autodesk doesn't mention Safari as a supported browser. Maybe no one on Windows knows about it but it's in the top 2 for Macs, not to mention iPads and iPhones. The benefit to using either Chrome or Safari (on Mavericks) is that each tab runs via it's own dedicated process so a YouTube video playing in another tab won't be able to take down the whole browser.
This is all exciting news, but also one more way that Autodesk is seemingly boxing us in to using its programs on its computers via its services. All of our eggs in one basket anyone?
One more piece of good news is that it'll be a lot easier for me to do Revit tutorials (if I can afford a subscription) for this site. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
You can read more about it here.
UPDATE: Anthony over at Architosh has more on the story including a video showing it running in Firefox on the Mac. Here's the video: