As we all learnt from business class, nobody likes a monopoly. The government doesn’t like them, the consumers don’t like them, and well, the employees of the company with any sense of righteousness would not like their work either.
Most famous monopoly debacle of technology? Microsoft. M$. The dicussion starts to die down when it gets to the “I just want to use my computer, and I’m happy” part. This whole Microsoft vs Something Else mainly affected people who were into computers, and liked tweaking, learning under the hood, etc. However, recently it seems as though the 3D artists have something to worry about as well.
Autodesk, which has been denying their monopoly position for quite some time now, has recently taken over (bought) another mainstream 3D application: Softimage, otherwise known as XSI. What are the others that Autodesk have?
Both of which, if they haven’t already caused outcries of recognition, are mainstream 3D applications. The battle somewhat now goes like this: Maya/3DS Max/XSI vs Cinema4D vs Lightwave. Bad for the users? You bet. This means longer release cycles, less variance between applications, less ingenuity of features … need a list? See the Microsoft debate.
Oh wait, did I say that everybody hates a monopoly? What have I been neglecting to mention? Aha! Yes! The open-source folks! Waait, that can’t be right – you say. If anything, they hate monopolies and love competition, I mean, they’re all about freedom, right? How wrong you are! If everybody hates monopolies as much as the open-source folks do, it gives them all the more reason to start using open-source software. This means that the userbase for Blender must increase. Hurrah! … and with Blender 2.5 coming out with major UI upgrades, that’ll make it easier for people to switch. Couldn’t have picked a better time, I say.
I quote from the CGSociety thread about this: no matter what, it’ll be interesting to watch.
3D artists … join the war.
(Read the CGSociety thread to see more discussion by the 3D folks)