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I think you are referencing ansys workbench which is similar in ease of use to cosmos works. Ansys classic is very hard to use but has vast capabilities
Do you mean more user friendly or more intuitive due to following a "windows standard," if there is such a thing?
ANSYS classic is an incredibly powerful tool. It is very easy to use. Take an existing deck, modify it with notepad, save, and batch run the analysis. Done. And it allows for very complex material models and analysis types. Now, using the ANSYS classic GUI, that's another story.
But that's where ANSYS has developed the Workbench. Workbench is more and more becoming stand-alone, but for the time being it can be defined as a Windows Standard front end application. Any difficult analysis and you are relegated to ANSYS classic. The problem with easy-to-use GUIs, and this goes for COSMOSWorks as well, is that the user options for high end, user controlled analysis are not readily available. They are buried behind the intuitive GUI that assumes the user wants the computer to tell him what to do.
In short, genexxer summed it up very nicely.
ANSYS Workbench is easy to use, like CosmosWorks, but lacks some functionality of Classic, yet.
ANSYS Classic is very powerful, and not hard to use, but it is time consuming to learn.
The geostar gui and the ansys classic GUI comparison would be interesting. The session file and the deck are roughly comparable in capabilities. I avoid the geostar gui like the plague since session files are so powerful once the comma delimited vagueries are teased out. My limited exposure to the ansys classic gui reminded me of the first few hours using the geostar gui...very very counter intuitive due to the ignorance of what is going on under the hood.
In workbench, one can leverage the sophistication of ansys classic by including an object from classic in the study. So visiting the classic interface for the initial setup of the object and then operating totally in ansys workbench may be possible. I did this for looping variables in a fluid-structure interaction problem using ansys multiphysics with cfx. It worked well but debugging my own newbie errors of course was complex since bird dogging mistakes in classic's deck files was difficult.
I would say Cosmosworks is 'easier' than ANSYS.
I am an experience ANSYS user turned designer and I found CW quite frustrating to use because of the lack of control with meshing and dividing of volumes.
ANSYS is incredibly powerful for advanced analysis and I feel that Cosmos can't touch it in that respect but keep in mind I haven't fully learned or explored Cosmos. Workbench makes the interface more user friendly and allows for the use of scripts in the background for advanced control not offered in the workbench gui.
ANSYS is not meant to be used through the GUI. The most effective use of ANSYS is to run scripts. The only 'GUI' operations typically required are chuncking and naming volumes/surfaces/ areas for meshing and applying B.C.'s, but even that can me done through a script.