I just went quickly over the Virtools newsletter (July 2007). There I read:
"Imagine a world where everyone can leverage the power of 3D, in which we can create, share, and experience life in 3D online, enabling us to join efforts to improve our living spaces and the products we use daily," says Bernard Charlès, president and CEO, Dassault Systèmes. (…)
First when I read this, i thought everybody. Now if I look at "enabling us to join efforts to improve our living spaces and the products we use daily" then it's seems to filter 'everyone' to 'everyone of the PLM market'.
It then says
(…) The Virtools product line is part of this new Dassault Systèmes’ 3DVIA brand establishing 3D as a universal media for consumer and professional communities, and allowing anyone to imagine, play, and experience products and services used in our daily lives
Ok, here it say Virtools is aimed to be the motor to establish "3D as a universal media" targeting "anyone".
I can see that 3Dvia is aiming for this in the professional, industrial/PLM market but somehow the aim to establish Virtools as universal media is contradictory to the Virtools Web Player/Life Player publishing fees that has been introduced with Virtools (Dev) 4.0. If they want a big user base they need developers, developers, developers … developers, developers, developers. Does this sound somehow familiar to you ??
If not, see the video below
… yes that's MS strategy. And they are targeting for even more developers. Look at Express, XNA etc. Or look at web 2.0! Massive amount of content using communities (everybody is a developer). That's also why you find large user bases there, thus a lot of page impressions, thus the high prices when portal are sold for millions.
With CREATION Virtools was very, very avant-garde. Years ahead of others: low-cost platform, schematic scripting, data driven framework, reusable and attachable components etc. Last year with the "3DForAll" claim, one might have thought Virtools is finally aiming to become the "Flash" for 3D online content, but the prices raised once more and some more advanced developers went away. Personally I became less active in the online community and my spare time is going into other technologies.
Where is this now going to? Elite market or mass product? I hope we soon get a clear answer!