Xara plans to shake up the Linux, Mac, and Open Source world with three major announcements.
In a press release this week, Xara, developer of popular Windows graphics software, announced they are making a move to defend themselves against Microsoft moving into their market, and at the same time are attempting to change the graphics landscape.
The first major announcement came when Xara announced the release of a new version of their powerful and easy-to-use vector graphics application for Windows called Xara Xtreme. The application can handle photos, business graphics, and drawing and illustration needs. According to Charles Moir, CEO of Xara,
It [Xara Xtreme] absolutely knocks the stuffing out of Adobe and the new Microsoft product. In terms of ease of use, of sheer flexibility and in terms of 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.
In the same press release, they made a startling–albiet welcome–announcement: they are porting to the Linux and Macintosh platforms. So far, Microsoft’s new vector-bitmap hybrid application is slated only to be released for the Windows platform. Moir went on to say,
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.
Further, in an even more surprising turn, they announced they intend to make the new software Open Source. Moir 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.
The Linux product will be free and Open Source in a move to help the Linux platform compete in the mainstream graphics arena. There are plans in the future to work with Inkscape, an existing Open Source vector graphics program that has an active developer community, to determine how best to create a “best of both world’s” product.