Press Release

Monday, June 17, 1996 < Prev Next >

Visio Announces Competitive Upgrade Offer

Encourages Trial of Its Popular Technical Drawing Program Among AutoCAD LT Users

ANAHEIM, Calif., June 17 /PRNewswire/ — Timed with the shipment this week of Visio® Technical 4.1, Visio Corp. (Nasdaq: VSIO) today announced at the A/E/C Systems show in Anaheim a limited-time offer to encourage users of Autodesk's AutoCAD LT to purchase Visio Technical, the leading 2-D technical drawing product. A rebate of $100 will be offered to current owners of AutoCAD LT who buy a copy of Visio Technical 4.1 at retail price. This competitive upgrade is based on the results of a recent Usability Sciences study conducted to quantify the productivity and ease-of-use benefits of Visio Technical compared with AutoCAD LT among technical professionals.

"Visio Technical has achieved tremendous success in the technical drawing market, reflecting the fact that the product suits users' needs for an easier and more productive tool than CAD software," said Mark Sherman, Visio Technical product manager. "We recently employed third- party usability testing of Visio Technical vs. AutoCAD LT to validate that our product meets the requirements of users creating 2-D technical drawings and schematics within their everyday work. Although the performance of our product speaks for itself, we hope this competitive upgrade offer encourages additional users to experience the benefits of Visio Technical 4.1 firsthand."

"Traditional CAD software tools have always been too difficult to master and require specialized training, which discouraged me from using my computer to accomplish key tasks and efficiently share my designs with clients and co-workers," said William Robert King, a principal architect practicing in New York. "After experimenting with Visio Technical, I completely abandoned my manual drafting tools and now use the product for all my technical drawing needs. Visio Technical's unique approach to drawing, using SmartShapes® symbols, and its associated fast learning curve are more productive and conducive to the types of drawing tasks that my work demands. This has enabled me to enjoy the true benefits of computerized drawings without having to make a difficult investment in training and equipment."

Summary of Test Findings

Individuals included in the study by Usability Sciences of Dallas were selected for being very familiar with AutoCAD LT or AutoCAD Release 12/13, but never having heard of or worked with Visio Technical. Testers were required to create and modify a space plan in AutoCAD LT and, after a brief introduction to Visio Technical, to complete the same tasks using Visio. The results of this study demonstrate that experienced AutoCAD LT users were able to create a space plan up to two times faster and were able to modify it four times faster with Visio Technical 4.1. Additional highlights of the study include these:

  • Preference for Visio Technical user interface. Users were impressed with Visio's user interface and the ability to see SmartShapes symbols on the stencil and drag them directly onto the drawing page, instead of searching through text-based file names. According to Larry Beck, a facilities assistant at the engineering firm Market Lynx, "Visio Technical is user-friendly and laid out well. The icons are easy to grab and pull over quickly ... it makes drawing a lot faster and not as frustrating."
  • Visio Technical fast learning curve. All users in the study rated Visio Technical as easier to learn than AutoCAD LT, and 83 percent of users rated Visio Technical as a tool that would make them more productive. Ben Ledbetter, an architectural draftsman with Thomas J. Brennan Architects, said, "Visio Technical would definitely make me a lot more productive because it's easier to use and there's less of a learning curve. I would prefer to use Visio Technical." An engineer who also participated in the study said, "If you are familiar with the Windows® desktop computing environment, you know how to work in Visio Technical."

Details of Visio Competitive Offer

A coupon will be provided within marked packages of Visio Technical 4.1 for owners of AutoCAD LT to receive a $100 rebate offer from Visio Corp. This offer is available from corporate resellers, in retail channels, and direct from Visio Corp. between June 17 and Dec. 31, 1996, in the United States and Canada.

Visio Technical 4.1 features enhanced functionality in the areas of database connectivity, customizability, and new and smarter drawing tools and content. The product has a U.S. estimated street price of $299; the suggested retail price is $399. Visio Technical 4.1 also supports the Windows 95, Windows 3.1 and Windows NT® operating systems, with 32-bit and 16-bit versions shipping in the same box. To place an order or to obtain more information on any Visio product, customers can contact Visio at (800) 24-VISIO [248-4746], ext. 93W. Additional details about Visio can also be obtained on CompuServe and MSN™, The Microsoft® Network, or via Visio's Web page at

Visio Technical at A/E/C Systems

Visio Technical 4.1 will be demonstrated June 18-20 during A/E/C Systems at the Anaheim Convention Center in ESRI World, Booth 349.

About Visio Corp.

Visio Corp., a leading supplier of enterprisewide business diagramming and technical drawing software, was founded in September 1990. The Seattle-based company pioneered the drawing and diagramming market with the release of Visio 1.0 in November 1992, and has since released additional Windows-based products for the creation and exchange of drawings and diagrams in business. Visio's powerful product architecture, combined with partner programs and third-party relationships in key market segments, are establishing Visio as a desktop platform standard for the creation of graphical solutions. The company markets the Visio product line in more than 26 countries throughout the world.

NOTE: Visio and SmartShapes are registered trademarks of Visio Corp. Microsoft, Windows, Windows NT and MSN are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks are held by their respective companies.

/CONTACT: Melissa Covelli, 206-637-9097,, or Megan Prentiss, 206-637-9097,, both of Waggener Edstrom/


CO: Visio Corp. ST: California IN: CPR SU: PDT

BB-SS — LAM024 — 1518 06/17/96 09:01 EDT