Step 1… A new product, Xara Xtreme - available now.
Step 2… Create Linux and Mac versions.
Step 3… Make the new software Open Source.
Folks, this is pretty exciting! Xara X¹ received 5 stars in my latest review, so I'm thrilled to see it being enhanced and reduced in price. (I'm also so happy that I no longer have to type that superscript 1 when referring to Xara software!) And turning it open source should only make it better.
"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." (from a Xara press release)
Xara Xtreme: What's New since Xara X¹
- Live Effects tool - Edit vector shapes and effects are automatically updated. This works with Xara plug-in effects and the majority of third party Photoshop plug-ins.
- Faster rendering - While other software seems to get slower and slower, Xara keeps working to make the software faster.
- Import/export plug-in system - File format converters can be added more easily.
- PDF export - Xtreme allows PDFs with graduated color fills, flat transparency, and graduated transparency.
- Improved Illustrator compatibility - Vector artwork can be imported into Illustrator versions9 and up.
- Improved Xara Picture Editor (XPE) - New tools, plug-in support, and stand-alone mode.
- More - Visit the Xtreme web site for more details.
Xara Xtreme is available for Windows now, for US$79. A free trial can be downloaded from xara.com now.
Here are a few more interesting comments from Charles Moir, CEO of Xara:
"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."
"[Xara Xtreme] 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".
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."
"...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."
This is definitely a daring move by Xara, but one that should benefit the users most of all.