Just to clarify:
Autodesk did NOT buy May from Alias.
Had they done so there would have been an investigation into 'monopolization' in the 3D space. (maya vs. max)
But what was cleverly done was that Alias sold the package (at which point many mac people were hoping that Apple would add it to their pro list - final cut, shake, etc. - and they missed a good opportunity there, anyway)
What happened was a 'non-public' company bought it from alias. Infact, i believe it was some rich investor/individual.
After that, it was sold to Autodesk almost immediately after it was purchased form Alias.
In my humble opinion, I would not be surprised if Autodesk was involved in this from the get go knowing the 'legal' hassles and loopholes. Seeing that a non public company/individual sold them maya - the fact that 2 rival 3d packages were now owned by autodesk was of no concern...
Kind of a shame really. After all, it does not benefit the consumer to have a company who buys out the competition and keeps it alive. After all, it is a waste of their own resources when at least they could have incorporated the best of both worlds. Maybe they are, and they are leaving it alive long enough to keep that user base until they get one solid mix between the two. I would suspect this is the case.
But overall, maya is indeed lost and some hybrid between max and maya will surface. This is not bad.
However, for mac enthusiast what does this mean? 8.5 didnt have 64 bit support.
Leopard is coming out in Oct with 64 support but Maya 2008 is without 64 support for the mac.
So are we to guess a year will now go buy with no 64 bit support for mac.
Or will it be part of the 2008 updates? Also, less updates than usual. You now know you are stuck with these features for the next year without hopes of 'leapfrogging' in some areas or fixing some of the 'autodesk' errors/messups with the current versions of Maya.
Now what do we have? In 3d space I suppose its XSI vs autodesk.
I agree, its time there is another competitor out there to rival what autodesk is doing. Let me grab a few billion and I will have some good software developed for you guys.