Best known for its CAD solutions, Belgium-based BricsCad also has BricsCad Vista, which it describes as: "the first professional Internet based communication, collaboration and project management platform allowing unlimited use for a yearly flat fee, encouraging organizations to open up Vista’s powerful feature set to all projects and all people involved – in the company and externally." (I note Ralph Grabowski’s WorldCAD Access blog has just questioned the solution’s pricing structure.)
It’s an interesting development for a business which was spun out of Bricsnet in 2002. Bricsnet was previously BricsWorks and, having developed the eponymous building design software, then launched its Building|Center ASP project collaboration solution in 2000, not long after the company had gone public in 1999. Bricsnet’s founder and CEO, Erik de Keyser, then led a management buy-out of the CAD software parts of the business, with BricsCad supposedly "completely dedicated to CAD". Now it seems BricsCad is going into direct competition with its former parent Bricsnet.
One other thought occurs – regarding the branding. When Vista was launched (it appears to have been around for a few months), BricsCad probably thought it was a fairly safe name to use. We now know that the new Microsoft operating system (previously codenamed ‘Longhorn’) is to be called Vista, so I wonder if there may be some branding issues? Just two months ago, Silicon.com was reporting Windows Vista name spat gives Microsoft a headache as some software vendors were already using the Vista marque. I wonder if BricsCad is also concerned about possible confusion between the Microsoft operating system and its specialised software, or perhaps wonders if customers or end-users will assume it is somehow tied – for better or for worse – to the Microsoft OS?