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Microsoft Asleep At The Wheel Again: Missing the New Era of CAD

P: n/a
Google and Second Life have proven there are market$ and economie$ in the
virtual worlds they and others have created. Applications in these virtual
worlds require the use of vector graphics applications which are used to
design, draw, and draft the user interfaces *within* the virtual world.

Note the distinction, *within* meaning not the Window where the host
application runs but that which is contained within the window. This is
where Microsoft remains asleep at the wheel like big lumbering dummies.
Might as well move the company from Redmond to Milwaukee.

Google was smart and on the job (no surprise here). Google acquired a 3D
vector graphics application called SketchUp, an amazing application widely
known and used by architects and others such as furniture and tool
designers; buildings and objects we find in the tangible world which are
being replicated within virtual worlds -- with programmable APIs -- that are
already being used to create what I've been calling the New Era of CAD.

There is one last remaining 3D vendor that has made significant progress in
the 3D vector graphics. That vendor is a one trick pony called Graphisoft
whose sole product is ArchiCAD which is one of the top three CAD
applications used by architects and others who work with buildings and
facilities. The trend being B(uilding) I(nformation) M(odeling) -- BIM --
where the building model contains all data spatial and otherwise in a single
monolithic file that exposes programmable interfaces. This is big news in
the AEC-CAFM markets and is rapidly changing the way business is done.
Especially for those who understand the relationship of the brick and mortar
objects that are being mapped into realms such as Virtual Earth. Whoops.
Microsoft's Virtual Earth is crippleware and has no such functionality. I
really meant to say Google Earth and Google Maps.

Both Google and Second Life are already building their own versions of BIM.
The opportunity for Microsoft may pass them buy they seem so stupid and
slow. Why haven't they acquired a real product like ArchiCAD and integrate
it with Virtual Earth and the stupid ridiculous initiative called Live
(which means absolutely nothing without 100 or more words explaing what the
f*ck "Live" actually is supposed to be -- and I stress "supposed to be").

A picture is worth a thousand words right?

Google and the Lindens (husband and wife developers of Second Life) know
this and are busy developing the new era of CAD and have a huge lead while
Microsoft remains dumb and asleep at the wheel with nothing to offer but
Expression Graphics Developer, a vector graphics application which was
acquired from Creature House -- a really decent application -- BUT -- dumb
as dirt, crippleware, and only useful for those who draw dancing monkeys a
line at a time.

Meanwhile the 3D bu$ine$$ is going to Google and Second Life both who are
attracting big names in business who are investing themselves in the virtual
worlds. Second Life has more than a million customers already and there are
literally people making tens of thousands of real dollars selling services
withing the virtual worlds. Some as creative as selling dolly clothes for
avatars for example. Another brilliant dude created a virtual exposition
center and is now making money from companies like SUN and IBM who have
entered Second Life to conduct marketing and pay this guy to host their
expos. Who is to say what other business processes will follow?

If Microsoft ever pulls its arrogant head out of its posterior it would
acquire ArchiCAD, modify it to support the .NET Framework, split the product
into a free version and a commercialized Pro version, and support customers
creating content and developing applications that can be integrated with
XBox, Virtual Earth and other related virtual realms.

<%= Clinton Gallagher
NET csgallagher AT metromilwaukee.com
URL http://clintongallagher.metromilwaukee.com/
MAP http://wikimapia.org/#y=43038073&x=-...8&z=17&l=0&m=h
Nov 3 '06 #1
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5 Replies


P: n/a
Do you think they will go out of business by missing this booming business
sector? :-)

--
Gregory A. Beamer
MVP; MCP: +I, SE, SD, DBA
http://gregorybeamer.spaces.live.com

*************************************************
Think outside of the box!
*************************************************
"clintonG" <cs*********@REMOVETHISTEXTmetromilwaukee.comwro te in message
news:%2****************@TK2MSFTNGP02.phx.gbl...
Google and Second Life have proven there are market$ and economie$ in the
virtual worlds they and others have created. Applications in these virtual
worlds require the use of vector graphics applications which are used to
design, draw, and draft the user interfaces *within* the virtual world.

Note the distinction, *within* meaning not the Window where the host
application runs but that which is contained within the window. This is
where Microsoft remains asleep at the wheel like big lumbering dummies.
Might as well move the company from Redmond to Milwaukee.

Google was smart and on the job (no surprise here). Google acquired a 3D
vector graphics application called SketchUp, an amazing application widely
known and used by architects and others such as furniture and tool
designers; buildings and objects we find in the tangible world which are
being replicated within virtual worlds -- with programmable APIs -- that
are already being used to create what I've been calling the New Era of
CAD.

There is one last remaining 3D vendor that has made significant progress
in the 3D vector graphics. That vendor is a one trick pony called
Graphisoft whose sole product is ArchiCAD which is one of the top three
CAD applications used by architects and others who work with buildings and
facilities. The trend being B(uilding) I(nformation) M(odeling) -- BIM --
where the building model contains all data spatial and otherwise in a
single monolithic file that exposes programmable interfaces. This is big
news in the AEC-CAFM markets and is rapidly changing the way business is
done. Especially for those who understand the relationship of the brick
and mortar objects that are being mapped into realms such as Virtual
Earth. Whoops. Microsoft's Virtual Earth is crippleware and has no such
functionality. I really meant to say Google Earth and Google Maps.

Both Google and Second Life are already building their own versions of
BIM. The opportunity for Microsoft may pass them buy they seem so stupid
and slow. Why haven't they acquired a real product like ArchiCAD and
integrate it with Virtual Earth and the stupid ridiculous initiative
called Live (which means absolutely nothing without 100 or more words
explaing what the f*ck "Live" actually is supposed to be -- and I stress
"supposed to be").

A picture is worth a thousand words right?

Google and the Lindens (husband and wife developers of Second Life) know
this and are busy developing the new era of CAD and have a huge lead while
Microsoft remains dumb and asleep at the wheel with nothing to offer but
Expression Graphics Developer, a vector graphics application which was
acquired from Creature House -- a really decent application -- BUT -- dumb
as dirt, crippleware, and only useful for those who draw dancing monkeys a
line at a time.

Meanwhile the 3D bu$ine$$ is going to Google and Second Life both who are
attracting big names in business who are investing themselves in the
virtual worlds. Second Life has more than a million customers already and
there are literally people making tens of thousands of real dollars
selling services withing the virtual worlds. Some as creative as selling
dolly clothes for avatars for example. Another brilliant dude created a
virtual exposition center and is now making money from companies like SUN
and IBM who have entered Second Life to conduct marketing and pay this guy
to host their expos. Who is to say what other business processes will
follow?

If Microsoft ever pulls its arrogant head out of its posterior it would
acquire ArchiCAD, modify it to support the .NET Framework, split the
product into a free version and a commercialized Pro version, and support
customers creating content and developing applications that can be
integrated with XBox, Virtual Earth and other related virtual realms.

<%= Clinton Gallagher
NET csgallagher AT metromilwaukee.com
URL http://clintongallagher.metromilwaukee.com/
MAP http://wikimapia.org/#y=43038073&x=-...8&z=17&l=0&m=h

Nov 3 '06 #2

P: n/a
Off the medication are we today, Clinton? ;-)

Have you had a look at Windows Vista, and the Windows Presentation
Foundation?

Yes, Microsoft isn't (exactly) jumping on the latest end-user CAD
application software market, but they have always been more involved in
platforms and development software (with the greatest exception being
Microsoft Office). I don't imagine they could get into *every* lucrative and
emerging end-user technology field. Thankfully, that leaves room for the
rest of us! However, Vista's UI is almost entirely vector graphics (with
some raster graphic support for backwards-compatibility of course), and
includes full support for 3D graphics built into the OS layer. A few links
for your edification:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/msdnmag/is...ionFoundation/
http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/net.../aa663300.aspx
http://msdn.microsoft.com/msdntv/epi...l/manifest.xml

In addition, the next generation of "DirectX" (XNA) is almost ready to be
released. This is possibly the closest thing to what you are talking about.
Check it out:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/directx/XNA/default.aspx

--
HTH,

Kevin Spencer
Microsoft MVP
Ministry of Software Development
http://unclechutney.blogspot.com

I just flew in from Chicago with
a man with a wooden leg named Smith
who shot an elephant in my pajamas.
So I bit him.
"clintonG" <cs*********@REMOVETHISTEXTmetromilwaukee.comwro te in message
news:%2****************@TK2MSFTNGP02.phx.gbl...
Google and Second Life have proven there are market$ and economie$ in the
<snip>
XBox, Virtual Earth and other related virtual realms.

<%= Clinton Gallagher
NET csgallagher AT metromilwaukee.com
URL http://clintongallagher.metromilwaukee.com/
MAP http://wikimapia.org/#y=43038073&x=-...8&z=17&l=0&m=h

Nov 3 '06 #3

P: n/a
I'm aware of XNA. Check this out [1] and note the low-key reference to
Autodesk. Yes I'm also aware of Vista's support for vector graphics. Months
ago I posted comments to Michael Swanson's blog (a Microweenie involved in
the development of the Expression Suite who asked for public comments about
which vector file formats should be supported). Swanson removed all comments
that were calling for support for file formats used by the technical and
licensed professionals, e.g. CAD which has evolved into 3D modeling
applications.

Microsoft already sells several of their rebranded acquisitions into the
technical and licensed professional markets that use CAD but they have
failed to follow through and have no comprehensive "solution." It has
puzzled me why they have avoided applications that are used to create and
manage content that has spatial properties. Visio has certainly been given
short shrift.

<%= Clinton Gallagher
NET csgallagher AT metromilwaukee.com
URL http://clintongallagher.metromilwaukee.com/
MAP http://wikimapia.org/#y=43038073&x=-...8&z=17&l=0&m=h

[1]
http://www.computerworld.com/action/...LT_APP&nlid=48

"Kevin Spencer" <sp**@uce.govwrote in message
news:eq**************@TK2MSFTNGP03.phx.gbl...
Off the medication are we today, Clinton? ;-)

Have you had a look at Windows Vista, and the Windows Presentation
Foundation?

Yes, Microsoft isn't (exactly) jumping on the latest end-user CAD
application software market, but they have always been more involved in
platforms and development software (with the greatest exception being
Microsoft Office). I don't imagine they could get into *every* lucrative
and emerging end-user technology field. Thankfully, that leaves room for
the rest of us! However, Vista's UI is almost entirely vector graphics
(with some raster graphic support for backwards-compatibility of course),
and includes full support for 3D graphics built into the OS layer. A few
links for your edification:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/msdnmag/is...ionFoundation/
http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/net.../aa663300.aspx
http://msdn.microsoft.com/msdntv/epi...l/manifest.xml

In addition, the next generation of "DirectX" (XNA) is almost ready to be
released. This is possibly the closest thing to what you are talking
about. Check it out:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/directx/XNA/default.aspx

--
HTH,

Kevin Spencer
Microsoft MVP
Ministry of Software Development
http://unclechutney.blogspot.com

I just flew in from Chicago with
a man with a wooden leg named Smith
who shot an elephant in my pajamas.
So I bit him.
"clintonG" <cs*********@REMOVETHISTEXTmetromilwaukee.comwro te in message
news:%2****************@TK2MSFTNGP02.phx.gbl...
>Google and Second Life have proven there are market$ and economie$ in the
<snip>
>XBox, Virtual Earth and other related virtual realms.

<%= Clinton Gallagher
NET csgallagher AT metromilwaukee.com
URL http://clintongallagher.metromilwaukee.com/
MAP http://wikimapia.org/#y=43038073&x=-...8&z=17&l=0&m=h


Nov 4 '06 #4

P: n/a
Hi Clinton,

As someone who has worked with DirectX and Direct3D specifically for a few
years, I can certainly understand your concerns. I have had to work with
ever-changing object models, and a number of 3rd-party tools to enable me to
work with (convert) various 3D file formats, such as Akino PolyTrans, as
well as tools for building meshes, such as 3D Studio. In fact, due to the
nature of the work I've done, which involves Geography to a large extent,
I've had to deal with the vast variety of geographic projections, as well as
lots of different 3rd-party software for working with various geographic
file formats and projections. I've spent hours and days digging up
algorithms and writing code to work with them. It has certainly been
frustrating. But it has also been educational.

From a personal perspective, I believe that this is typical of "new"
technology. Now, 3D graphics programming has been around for more than 20
years, but video cards and graphics adapters that make 3D development on PCs
are relatively new to the market, which means that 3D programming for PCs is
still in its' infancy. As someone who has worked with earlier versions of
HTML, I'm sure you can understand the challenges and difficulties inherent
in the early stages of technology, particularly with regards to
standardization.

Vista, I believe, is a reaction to this emerging market, and the need for
platforms that natively support 3D vector graphics. XNA, the next generation
of DirectX is also a step in the right direction. Now, companies that
develop CAD software can relatively easily create their own file formats and
proprietary software in a relatively short time. Microsoft's problem is that
they are dealing with ubiquitous platform technology and software. They have
in the past been at fault for being too proprietary, and have suffered as a
result of it. Backwards-compatibility over a decade or more can be a real
impediment to new technology when a company has to ensure that their
software and systems work on an ever-increasing number of systems, with an
ever-increasing backlog of proprietary code to support.

However, in recent years they have been devoted to working with quite a few
standards organizations, and creating less proprietary technologies that are
capable of interoperating with other systems and platforms, and will not
require extensive rewrites over time. Certainly, this has impeded the swift
move forward that we all would hope for. But my guess is that they are
looking at the long haul, refactoring in such a way that this sort of
impedence will be attenuated in the future.

Of course, that's just my guess. But I think I'm a pretty good guesser. ;-)

--
HTH,

Kevin Spencer
Microsoft MVP
Ministry of Software Development
http://unclechutney.blogspot.com

I just flew in from Chicago with
a man with a wooden leg named Smith
who shot an elephant in my pajamas.
So I bit him.
"clintonG" <cs*********@REMOVETHISTEXTmetromilwaukee.comwro te in message
news:O2*************@TK2MSFTNGP02.phx.gbl...
I'm aware of XNA. Check this out [1] and note the low-key reference to
Autodesk. Yes I'm also aware of Vista's support for vector graphics.
Months ago I posted comments to Michael Swanson's blog (a Microweenie
involved in the development of the Expression Suite who asked for public
comments about which vector file formats should be supported). Swanson
removed all comments that were calling for support for file formats used
by the technical and licensed professionals, e.g. CAD which has evolved
into 3D modeling applications.

Microsoft already sells several of their rebranded acquisitions into the
technical and licensed professional markets that use CAD but they have
failed to follow through and have no comprehensive "solution." It has
puzzled me why they have avoided applications that are used to create and
manage content that has spatial properties. Visio has certainly been given
short shrift.

<%= Clinton Gallagher
NET csgallagher AT metromilwaukee.com
URL http://clintongallagher.metromilwaukee.com/
MAP http://wikimapia.org/#y=43038073&x=-...8&z=17&l=0&m=h

[1]
http://www.computerworld.com/action/...LT_APP&nlid=48

"Kevin Spencer" <sp**@uce.govwrote in message
news:eq**************@TK2MSFTNGP03.phx.gbl...
>Off the medication are we today, Clinton? ;-)

Have you had a look at Windows Vista, and the Windows Presentation
Foundation?

Yes, Microsoft isn't (exactly) jumping on the latest end-user CAD
application software market, but they have always been more involved in
platforms and development software (with the greatest exception being
Microsoft Office). I don't imagine they could get into *every* lucrative
and emerging end-user technology field. Thankfully, that leaves room for
the rest of us! However, Vista's UI is almost entirely vector graphics
(with some raster graphic support for backwards-compatibility of course),
and includes full support for 3D graphics built into the OS layer. A few
links for your edification:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/msdnmag/is...ionFoundation/
http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/net.../aa663300.aspx
http://msdn.microsoft.com/msdntv/epi...l/manifest.xml

In addition, the next generation of "DirectX" (XNA) is almost ready to be
released. This is possibly the closest thing to what you are talking
about. Check it out:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/directx/XNA/default.aspx

--
HTH,

Kevin Spencer
Microsoft MVP
Ministry of Software Development
http://unclechutney.blogspot.com

I just flew in from Chicago with
a man with a wooden leg named Smith
who shot an elephant in my pajamas.
So I bit him.
"clintonG" <cs*********@REMOVETHISTEXTmetromilwaukee.comwro te in
message news:%2****************@TK2MSFTNGP02.phx.gbl...
>>Google and Second Life have proven there are market$ and economie$ in
the
<snip>
>>XBox, Virtual Earth and other related virtual realms.

<%= Clinton Gallagher
NET csgallagher AT metromilwaukee.com
URL http://clintongallagher.metromilwaukee.com/
MAP http://wikimapia.org/#y=43038073&x=-...8&z=17&l=0&m=h



Nov 4 '06 #5

P: n/a
I have enough expereince in GIS, mapping, architecture and mechanical design
and drafting to think I know what I am watching take place. The concerns you
expressed are certainly relative but are an entirely different focus than
what I think is and should be the focal point. That is, tools nned to be in
the hands of content experts such as architects for example or those that
design and draft furniture or machinery such as automobiles, trucks, boats
and airplanes.

Google has the lead (and the mind share) after acquiring and implementing
SketchUp and SketchUp may very well become the "new AutoCAD" who knows? I
certainly think its more efficient and more useer friendly to use tools such
as SketchUP and ArchiCAD which have features unique to drafting objects that
can be virtualized as simply as using Save As.

I just learned Microsoft acquired Vexcel (photogrammetry) and Massive
(inject ads into video game content) apparently to enhance Virtual Earth.
Its obvious to me what Microsoft intends to do with both acquisitions via
Virtual Earth but IMO Google has the better idea and has already implemented
it and is far and away the smarter and wiser implementation for now...
Google is already having problems with huge datasets over HTTP though and
maybe an XBox on every desktop is going to prove the only way to achieve the
processing power required to implement the virtual realms emerging during
the new era of CAD.

This is the context where Microsoft certainly apears to be failing though or
at least putting the cart before the horse. They acquired photogrammetry so
now Virtual Earth can map "wallpaper" images to what? They acquired ad
injection technology to inject an ad into the wallpape which is pasted to
what? So what am I missing here? Microsoft has no software to help
architects or anybody else draft the virtual representations of buildings
and other objects such as cars, trucks, airplanes, rail roads and other
tangible objects.

<%= Clinton


"Kevin Spencer" <sp**@uce.govwrote in message
news:%2****************@TK2MSFTNGP03.phx.gbl...
Hi Clinton,

As someone who has worked with DirectX and Direct3D specifically for a few
years, I can certainly understand your concerns. I have had to work with
ever-changing object models, and a number of 3rd-party tools to enable me
to work with (convert) various 3D file formats, such as Akino PolyTrans,
as well as tools for building meshes, such as 3D Studio. In fact, due to
the nature of the work I've done, which involves Geography to a large
extent, I've had to deal with the vast variety of geographic projections,
as well as lots of different 3rd-party software for working with various
geographic file formats and projections. I've spent hours and days digging
up algorithms and writing code to work with them. It has certainly been
frustrating. But it has also been educational.

From a personal perspective, I believe that this is typical of "new"
technology. Now, 3D graphics programming has been around for more than 20
years, but video cards and graphics adapters that make 3D development on
PCs are relatively new to the market, which means that 3D programming for
PCs is still in its' infancy. As someone who has worked with earlier
versions of HTML, I'm sure you can understand the challenges and
difficulties inherent in the early stages of technology, particularly with
regards to standardization.

Vista, I believe, is a reaction to this emerging market, and the need for
platforms that natively support 3D vector graphics. XNA, the next
generation of DirectX is also a step in the right direction. Now,
companies that develop CAD software can relatively easily create their own
file formats and proprietary software in a relatively short time.
Microsoft's problem is that they are dealing with ubiquitous platform
technology and software. They have in the past been at fault for being too
proprietary, and have suffered as a result of it. Backwards-compatibility
over a decade or more can be a real impediment to new technology when a
company has to ensure that their software and systems work on an
ever-increasing number of systems, with an ever-increasing backlog of
proprietary code to support.

However, in recent years they have been devoted to working with quite a
few standards organizations, and creating less proprietary technologies
that are capable of interoperating with other systems and platforms, and
will not require extensive rewrites over time. Certainly, this has impeded
the swift move forward that we all would hope for. But my guess is that
they are looking at the long haul, refactoring in such a way that this
sort of impedence will be attenuated in the future.

Of course, that's just my guess. But I think I'm a pretty good guesser.
;-)

--
HTH,

Kevin Spencer
Microsoft MVP
Ministry of Software Development
http://unclechutney.blogspot.com

I just flew in from Chicago with
a man with a wooden leg named Smith
who shot an elephant in my pajamas.
So I bit him.
"clintonG" <cs*********@REMOVETHISTEXTmetromilwaukee.comwro te in message
news:O2*************@TK2MSFTNGP02.phx.gbl...
>I'm aware of XNA. Check this out [1] and note the low-key reference to
Autodesk. Yes I'm also aware of Vista's support for vector graphics.
Months ago I posted comments to Michael Swanson's blog (a Microweenie
involved in the development of the Expression Suite who asked for public
comments about which vector file formats should be supported). Swanson
removed all comments that were calling for support for file formats used
by the technical and licensed professionals, e.g. CAD which has evolved
into 3D modeling applications.

Microsoft already sells several of their rebranded acquisitions into the
technical and licensed professional markets that use CAD but they have
failed to follow through and have no comprehensive "solution." It has
puzzled me why they have avoided applications that are used to create and
manage content that has spatial properties. Visio has certainly been
given short shrift.

<%= Clinton Gallagher
NET csgallagher AT metromilwaukee.com
URL http://clintongallagher.metromilwaukee.com/
MAP http://wikimapia.org/#y=43038073&x=-...8&z=17&l=0&m=h

[1]
http://www.computerworld.com/action/...LT_APP&nlid=48

"Kevin Spencer" <sp**@uce.govwrote in message
news:eq**************@TK2MSFTNGP03.phx.gbl...
>>Off the medication are we today, Clinton? ;-)

Have you had a look at Windows Vista, and the Windows Presentation
Foundation?

Yes, Microsoft isn't (exactly) jumping on the latest end-user CAD
application software market, but they have always been more involved in
platforms and development software (with the greatest exception being
Microsoft Office). I don't imagine they could get into *every* lucrative
and emerging end-user technology field. Thankfully, that leaves room for
the rest of us! However, Vista's UI is almost entirely vector graphics
(with some raster graphic support for backwards-compatibility of
course), and includes full support for 3D graphics built into the OS
layer. A few links for your edification:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/msdnmag/is...ionFoundation/
http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/net.../aa663300.aspx
http://msdn.microsoft.com/msdntv/epi...l/manifest.xml

In addition, the next generation of "DirectX" (XNA) is almost ready to
be released. This is possibly the closest thing to what you are talking
about. Check it out:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/directx/XNA/default.aspx

--
HTH,

Kevin Spencer
Microsoft MVP
Ministry of Software Development
http://unclechutney.blogspot.com

I just flew in from Chicago with
a man with a wooden leg named Smith
who shot an elephant in my pajamas.
So I bit him.
"clintonG" <cs*********@REMOVETHISTEXTmetromilwaukee.comwro te in
message news:%2****************@TK2MSFTNGP02.phx.gbl...
Google and Second Life have proven there are market$ and economie$ in
the
<snip>
XBox, Virtual Earth and other related virtual realms.

<%= Clinton Gallagher
NET csgallagher AT metromilwaukee.com
URL http://clintongallagher.metromilwaukee.com/
MAP http://wikimapia.org/#y=43038073&x=-...8&z=17&l=0&m=h



Nov 7 '06 #6

This discussion thread is closed

Replies have been disabled for this discussion.