AutoCAD coming back to Mac

After a 16-year absence, AutoCAD, the industry-standard application for architectural and engineering design, is coming back to the Mac platform.

Autodesk, the company behind the design software, has apparently bowed to pressure from a lively and vocal community of more than 5,000 Mac-toting designers and will release a new version of the $4,000 software package by the end of October.

And it's not just the users who are happy to see the high-end design package back on the OSX platform, Apple is obviously keen to snap up its share of the estimated 10 million-strong user base. “Apple is thrilled that Autodesk is bringing AutoCAD back to the Mac and we think it's the perfect combination for millions of design and engineering professionals,” said Apple second-in-command Philip Schiller.

Cut-down versions of the full package will also be released for Apple's portable devices like the iPad and the iPhone, allowing users to share plans on site and make minor tweaks to design drawings on the move.

There have been 13 Windows releases since AutoCAD was last seen on an Apple box (unless you count those running Windows).