Eli, if I never told you you were insightful, let this be the first time. And if we aimed to be coy in our strategy, we should have picked a name other than "Fusion" when we named the product.
. (They say the ship leaks from the top...so I guess I'm the guilty party).
Truth is, this is a direction we are extremely interested in and this was even announced (albeit a bit anecdotally) at Autodesk University this past year. We (Autodesk) don't view these as separate processes any longer and my charter is in ensuring that we treat ECAD, MCAD & Manufacturing as all sides of the same coin.
Curiously, I think Altium figured this out when they suddenly put Eagle and Altium Designer on the same footing by providing a massive discount to EAGLE users. The fact is, it's only time & resources that creates the lead.
Our goal at Autodesk goes beyond feature parity. Sure, we know we need comprehensive solutions for routing, design reuse, hierarchy, libs, data management, mcad integration, etc. ...but there's SO much more we can do if we integrated these capabilities at some level. And truth is, we have a bit of a blank slate insofar as we have a lot to build from, but a lot of "net-new" stuff to build. It's a shame really, just trying to be patient long enough for this all to take place.
The question is, what happens to the $12K tool with $1250/yr maintenance when someone does the same thing for less than $1000? And what if 80% of that is under $500? Then what?
. ...Game on.
Matt - Autodesk.