A nice article that tracks the EDA industry from its humble, wild-west, free-for-all beginnings to a mature industry that is getting a bit jaded. Perhaps it should've been aptly titled as the History of EDA - part 1.
An analyses why the rate of innovation continues to lie outside of the big three companies would have been interesting. In any mature industry, the best innovations come from the fringe players.
However, in defence of the Big 3, when the majority of the designers are highly risk-averse, they have no choice but to return to the usual suspects for their new tool purchases. How many of us would readily buy a car that is not manufactured by one of the big automobile manufacturers? Even if we did, how sure are we that the brakes will work every time?
Acquisition is the only growth strategy available to the larger companies. I bet there are some really innovative products that are brewing in each of the big 3 that will blow your mind. Sadly, they will never see daylight in time because of someone's ego is hurt or someone's fiefdom is threatened.
Thanks for nice retrospective on the where the current technology in today's companies originated from.