Great question. Basically, a non-profit government organization with hardly any funding and a volunteer base (that I’m a part of) is in one corner and an 800+ pound gorilla with an unlimited budget is in the other (that I’m on the R and D team for). I think what a large portion of the industry doesn’t seem to understand is that IFC will be fine to use…in 5 years, but in five years what they develop will be obsolete. Of course, the best solution would be to develop an Interoperability Standards group that is an honest-to-goodness company that consults with these corporations on a full time basis, otherwise the NIBS groups will never be nimble enough to catch up with the rapid development of the software.
Also Revit, Bentley and ArchiCAD have spent a decade developing their software and aren’t about to just give up their profit as they are corporations and are ultimately responsible to their shareholders.
In regards to Bentley, I think it’s probably the best decision they’ve ever made and I’m sure their image of being “the interoperable software of choice” market perception will go up. Between you and me Autodesk has been positioning to purchase Bentley for some time, but from what I’ve heard the asking price is outrageous. So this might be a little friendly positioning on the part of Autodesk to steal market share away from Bentley users, the ol’ if you can’t buy ‘em join ‘em thing. Hard to say, either way though IFC’s aren’t there yet and the software industry will continue to define what “standards” of transfer protocols are best. NavisWorks was really the best IFC software available, but we all know how that ended up! =)
Just a couple thoughts…either way it doesn’t make it easier for NIBS or the IAI.