As the doors swung open, those at the front of the line jumped out of their Mountain Equipment Co-op waterproof sleeping bags and into the warm embrace of store employees. They jumped back again as employees pulled out sharp new box cutters and got to work.
Large notices in red type were bandaged onto the cases of AutoCAD 2007, warning dealerships against opening boxes prior to 12:01am—or face losing dealer contracts come January 31. Employees sliced through the warning signs, the cardboard tops, the individual cases and sometimes right into the CDs.
Most users quickly made their $3,999.00 purchase and ran for their Ford Fairlanes and Mercury Comets, eager to load the software onto their aging desktop computers. Others, however, complained to the watching news cameras that dealers were illegally bundling the software with “required” workstation hardware.
Gazing gleefully upon a row of TV’s reporting the pandemonium, Autodesk representative Walker John enthused, “This is the most successful launch ever! No matter about the sliced CDs; they barely cost anything.” John promised to investigate the bundling complaints, but noted that AutoCAD 2007’s 3D capability is useless without expensive hardware.