Today Xara announced that is has been acquired by MAGIX AG - a German software company. I'm posting this to try and answer the most likely questions that arise from this;
How does this affect the future of Xara products?
Mainly it means no great change. Xara Group Ltd has simply had a change of owners. The company will continue to operate as before, and will continue to develop Xara software as before. Indeed the management of the company, the day-to-day operational control, product design and development teams remain as before.
However Xara will develop product to be supplied both under the Magix brand and the Xara brand. So future versions of Xara Xtreme, for example, will be available under the Magix brand (which is aimed mostly at the consumer market) while Xara will continue to aim at the higher more professional market.
So what are the benefits of this move?
This move not only brings greater financial resources and stability to Xara, but will also greatly enlarge its user-base. Magix is the number number one retailer of consumer graphics, audio and video products in Europe, and a large player in the US as well. This means for the first time in 10 years that Xara developed products will be available from retail outlets throughout the world.
This in turn means we can invest more in R&D and accelerate the development of Xara Xtreme, both easier to use low-cost consumer versions and higher-end professional versions.
Why is this different to the Corel deal?
This is fundamentally different. That was a licensing deal we did with Corel 10 years ago. We had a product that competed against CorelDRAW, so in the end Corel always preferred to promote CorelDRAW instead of CorelXARA. Magix have no products that compete with Xara's. There is no conflict of interest.
Magix are a growing, very successful, profitable company. They go back just about as long as Xara, but have been more successful in their sales and marketing. They ship millions of units into the retail channel per year, around the world, which is an extraordinary achievement. They are looking to Xara to help improve their product lines, specifically in the photo and vector graphic areas.
Magix seems very focussed on low-cost consumer products, so what does this mean for future versions?
Well Xara has also focussed on low-cost consumer graphics software with the likes of Xara 3D, Webstyle and Xara Xtreme so there's a fit there. But Magix also develops and sells some high-end professional products (e.g. www.samplitude.com) and the model will be similar for Xara in the future.
Most members on this forum know and believe in the superior usability, performance and value of the Xara products compared to the competition. Our main problem, as mentioned many times on this forum, has been our lack of retail distribution. Well that problem is about to be solved.
I think this is a real opportunity for Xara to expand and accelerate development in the future.