|| ||"Nova Fisher" <Nova-AT-zynet.net>|
|| ||"Corbet, Jonathan" <pr-AT-lwn.net>|
|| ||Xara announces Xtreme Open Source|
|| ||Tue, 11 Oct 2005 17:50:11 +0100|
11th October, 2005
Xara announces Xtreme Open Source
Xara plans to shake up the Linux, Mac and Open Source 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, developer of popular Windows graphics software, is making a move to defend themselves against
Microsoft moving into their market, and at the same time is attempting to change the graphics
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
Charles Moir, CEO of Xara, 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
Linux and Mac versions
Secondly Xara plans to create Linux and Mac versions of the graphics application. Charles said,
"Many of our users are Mac and Linux enthusiasts who, often reluctantly, use Windows to run our
software because it's only been available on Windows. For years we've had requests from Mac and
Linux users to create versions for their platforms. Our plans are to change the graphics software
landscape forever, and that means we have to be cross-platform"
The Linux desktop has come on leaps and bounds in the last year or so. But there is scarcity of
really slick, finished applications, especially in the graphics arena. Our goal is to create the
greatest general purpose desktop graphics application that has ever existed and for this to be a
first class Linux and Mac citizen.
Ironically, given the percentage of graphic professionals using Macs, there are few, if any, high
quality, high performance, low cost Mac graphics applications. Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop
dominate, but those can cost more than a new Mac. That's outrageous. With Macromedia being
acquired by Adobe, choice for Mac users just took a turn for the worse. We can help address that."
Thirdly Xara intends to make the new software 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."
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.
We have a load of technology that's better than anything Microsoft or Adobe have. By making this
Open Source (GPL) we believe we can help the Linux platform compete in the mainstream graphics
arena better than it ever has before.
We used to develop for alternative platforms, such as the Acorn RISC computer in the 1990s, and so
fundamentally Xara Xtreme is based on a cross-platform core.
Of course, we are aware of Inkscape, an existing Open Source vector graphics program that has an
active developer community, but is far from complete. We've been in discussion with Inkscape
people, who have enthusiastically welcomed us. Our short term goal is to create a fully working
Xara Xtreme as it exists now. After that we've agreed to work with Inkscape to determine how best
to create a 'best of both world's' product.
Xara Xtreme, Open Sourced and available on Linux will make a huge difference to the platform. We
believe it will significantly accelerate the acceptance of the platform as an alternative to
Windows. Down the road, combine the best of Inkscape and Xara, and you've got something that has
the potential to disrupt the established world that is dominated by Adobe and Microsoft.
Graphics desktop applications are a cornerstone of any modern desktop OS. We have what we (and many
others) believe is the best desktop graphics application there is. By making it Open Source, by
making it available on Windows, Mac and Linux, we hope to change the graphics software landscape
If you want to see what Xara Xtreme can do, there are demo movies available in various formats here
Xara has been working on a new cross-platform version (Linux, Mac and Windows) for some time and
have a simple viewer (Linux only) demonstration available. You can find more details here:
See the Xara Xtreme website at http://www.xara.com/products/xtreme/
Or the Xara Open Source website at http://www.xaraxtreme.org
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, Musical videos for Andrew Lloyd-Webber and Will Young and other films and
For further details please contact: Nova Fisher, Communications Director, email@example.com
Xara has been developing low-cost mass-market software since the early years of the Microcomputer
era, in 1981. It has focused mostly on publishing related software products, starting from
Wordwise, a hugely popular Word Processor in the '80s, to desktop publishing software (Impression)
and graphics products in the '90s for the Acorn RISC computer. Xara's first Windows product, Xara
Studio was quickly snapped up and marketed by Corel in the late '90s. The rights were acquired
back from Corel and it has since evolved into Xara X and the most recent Xara Xtreme.
Xara has particularly strong technology and innovation history. It pioneered many of the graphics
technologies and techniques used by industry today. It was the first to introduce vector
anti-aliasing, the first with vector transparency and graduated transparency, the first vector
feathering. Many of its User Interface techniques have been adopted by the industry. The graphics
engine that is at the core of Xara Xtreme still remains the world's most powerful.
The technologies used to create Xara Xtreme have been developed by Xara over the years and
incorporates many pioneering features. It has been modelled on the successful Xara X¹ (sold for
$179) as used by many professional graphics and illustration artists but has been significantly
re-engineered to open it up to third-party plug-in developers.
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