avishere writes "People are losing their jobs, but for some execs the economic meltdown seems like the perfect time to get their software into the hands of those who can't afford their multi-thousand-dollar price tags. Software giants Autodesk and SolidWorks have each latched onto the worst-economic-disaster-since-the-Great-Depression meme and released free versions of their flagship computer-aided-design brands before their potential users are forced to sell their laptops on Craigslist. 'In these uncertain economic times,' Autodesk coos sympathetically, it will give away temporary licenses of AutoCAD and other software to those unemployed in the fields of architecture, engineering, and design. (They are also developing a Mac version, two decades after abandoning the platform.) SolidWorks was quick to respond with its subtly titled Engineering Stimulus Package. So if anyone out there has their weekdays free, jumpstart your hardware and design projects for cheap. Legally, too."