Xara takes Xtreme action
October 11, 2005
Xara plans to shake up the Graphics world with three major announcements.
1) A new product Xara Xtreme - the fastest most versatile graphics software available
2) Plans to create Linux and Mac versions
3) Plans to Open Source it.
"Few companies can take the announcement, that Microsoft intend to get into their market, lying down", says CEO Charles Moir.
Xara, a relatively small player in the graphics market, sometimes described as having a cult following, has decided that there is only one way to compete against these giants, and is doing so in a way they cannot possibly follow.
Charles continues, "The recent acquisition of Macromedia by Adobe can only reduce user choice and will likely see the elimination of hugely popular (and high quality) applications such as Freehand. The graphics world is becoming increasingly dominated by giants, to the detriment of the users. The second recent announcement by Microsoft to try and get into the graphics market is likely to distort the market even more."
Firstly, Xara is announcing the release of a new product, Xara Xtreme. It's built on Xara's history of developing successful, award winning and innovative graphics software for 15 years. This is a new cross-category graphics application that can handle photos, business graphics, drawing and illustration needs.
Charles said "It absolutely knocks the stuffing out of Adobe and the new Microsoft product. In terms of ease of use, shear flexibility and performance. Adobe has tried for 10 years to get close to our performance levels and cannot. Microsoft are not going to be able to either. I guarantee it".
Xara Xtreme is available for Windows now, at just $79 A free trial can be downloaded from xara.com now. http://www.xara.com/downloads/xtreme/
Linux and Mac version
Secondly, Xara plans to create Linux and Mac versions of the graphics application. Charles said, "Mac and Linux users have been asking, in fact begging, for many years that we create versions for their platforms. Our plans are to change the graphics software landscape forever, and that means we have to be cross-platform.
It's ironic that Mac still dominates the creative industries, and yet there are few really good, general purpose, low cost graphics applications now available. You can pay $500 ($900 in the UK) for the latest Adobe Illustrator, but when you can get a new Mac for that price, that's outrageous and unjustified.
With the likely elimination of Macromedia products, Mac users will have even less choice. So by making a Mac version and Open Sourcing it we hope to bring the world's fastest and most versatile graphics software to the Mac platform, at last"
Thirdly, Xara intends to make the new Xara Xtreme Open Source. Charles said "We're going to a place that Microsoft and Adobe cannot go. The Open Source world is the acknowledged largest threat to established giants such as Microsoft. We felt it was necessary for us to shake up the graphics world a bit, and making one of the most powerful, easiest to use graphics applications Open Source should do the trick."
Open Source means the source code is made available so that anyone can use it, modify it, develop and extend it. But while the Open Source license allows users to do what they want by giving them complete freedom, it prevents commercial competitors taking advantage of the Xara technology.
"The Linux desktop has come on leaps and bounds in the last year or two. It's now becoming a real challenge to Windows and it's a growing market (40% growth in the last year according to reports). To stand any chance of establishing a following in the Linux world you have to make the product free and open source, so despite the risks involved, that's what we're doing", Charles said.
"Key Apple products such as their Safari Web Browser and the core of the operating system itself are Open Source, so we're moving in with good company", he continued.
Charles concluded "There is a common theme to these announcements. A new product, aggressive price, and new platforms. Perhaps most significant of all, by moving to an Open Source model, we hope to gain from the massive development potential, and from the momentum that platform brings. We also hope to advance the state of the art on the Linux and Mac platforms and be a credible alternative to the two huge companies that look increasingly to dominate graphics market."
A demonstration movie showing Xara Xtreme in operation is available from:
Charles Moir, founder and CEO of Xara, in front of the UK headquarters of Xara Ltd
This historic location is also used as a location for film and TV work, including Rory Bremner, Little Britain, Weightwatchers, Musical videos for Andrew Lloyd-Webber and Will Young and other films and commercials.
For more information see http://www.xara.com/products/xtreme/
For further details and review copies please contact: Nova Fisher, Communications Director, [email protected]
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About Xara Group Ltd
Xara has been developing cutting edge software in the UK since 1981 making it one of the very earliest European software houses. Xara has developed a wide range of products covering the whole realm of publishing and graphics software. Xara Designer remains the world's fastest, and many believe, the world's best drawing and illustration software.
Xara has a particularly strong technology and innovation history. It pioneered many of the graphics technologies and techniques now standard in the industry today such as anti-aliased vector graphics, vector transparency, object feathering, etc. Many of its user interface techniques have been adopted by the industry. Xara's latest innovation is Xara Online Designer, a cloud based service that offers the ability to create rich graphical documents in a web browser, using any device and in collaboration with colleagues.
In January, 2007, Xara Group Ltd was acquired by MAGIX AG and benefits from a distribution partnership with another wholly owned subsidiary, MAGIX Software GmbH.
MAGIX has been a leading international provider of high-quality software, online services and digital content for multimedia communications since 1993. The MAGIX product range is targeted towards both laymen and professionals alike, going beyond the PC platform to include seamlessly integrated online and mobile applications. MAGIX operates internationally from branches in the USA, Canada, the UK, France, Italy and the Netherlands.