Lynn Allen, the queen of AutoCAD, caused quite a stir when she showed SolidWorks World 2008 in San Diego. Blogs lit up with Lynn sightings almost immediately, complete with tabloid-style photos. Tongues wagged about Autodesk spying. Some SolidWorks employees grumbled how they themselves would be welcomed at Autodesk Univeristy (they wouldn't --AU gatekeepers are infamous for intolerance of competitive companies and dissenting individuals).
But Lynn was open and forthright in her role. She was not here to spy, nor hiding her role as evangelist for Autodesk. She just wanted to see what was going on, maybe even pick up some pointers for AU. She even graciously agreed to and sat through a tough interview by SolidWorks user and and blogger, Mike Puckett.
Though Solid Works conference organizers were getting a bit nervous from sensation Lynn's presence was causing, most CAD insiders felt SolidWork had once again took the high road by keeping the doors open when a lesser company would have slammed them shut.
Will Lynn's visit and treatment at SolidWorks lead to a more civilized behavior by Autodesk to SolidWorks? Maybe it has already started. There were no Autodesk pranks this year, like the previous year when SolidWorks users had to endure in-your-face Inventor ads on every taxicab in New Orleans.