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Last post Author Topic: Magix (Xara) rant...  (Read 15960 times)

Darwin

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Magix (Xara) rant...
« on: September 22, 2007, 03:33:19 PM »
Magix acquired Xara, developers of the wonderful Xtreme graphics package, earlier this year. I, along with many others, were thrilled last fall when Xara began beta testing a more powerful "Pro" version of Xtreme 3 and eagerly purchased a licence in Dec. 2006 when it was released. The Magix takeover was announced about three weeks later and in mid-February a notice went out alerting existing customers that new versions of Xtreme, both Standard and Pro, were due out in March and that these would paid updates (from version 3.02 to 3.2). We were offered a pre-release price of $39 and change. I passed on this offer feeling that being asked to pay for bug fixes to a program that was brand new two and half months earlier, that I had helped to beta test, and that I had paid handsomely for, was "taking the piss". Recently, I decided, for some unfathomable reason, to check the cost of "upgrading" my version - 3.02 - to the current version - 3.2x. It had gone up to $59, although at the moment I note that they are offering a 25% discount on upgrades through October 3, so it would cost me $44. What's alarming is that upgrading from earlier versions of Xtreme is more expensive, up to $127 (with the discount applied), so that when version 4 rolls out I assume it will cost considerably more money to upgrade.  I think that this is an appalling abuse of the existing customer base. I put this down at the time to Magix seeking to recoup as quickly as possible some of the purchase price by gouging Xara's loyal customers and this looks to be the case.

Well, rant over. I figured I might as well earn my reputation for being on a vendetta  :P...
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin
« Last Edit: September 22, 2007, 03:36:03 PM by Darwin »

tomos

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Re: Magix (Xara) rant...
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2007, 03:56:53 PM »
sad, isn't it ...
I had hopes for Xara but all this messing around (polite version) doesnt inspire
Tom

Darwin

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Re: Magix (Xara) rant...
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2007, 04:11:26 PM »
I have a bad feeling about the direction that Magix is taking them. Xara's graphics packages used to be attractive because they offered an affordable alternative to applications like Adobe Illustrator. It *looks* to me like Magix is doing a Corel (a la PaintShop Pro) with the "standard" version - dumbing it down (no doubt with new versions to be released once every 12 months) and looking to position the Pro version in a much higher price slot. The whole business has left a bad taste in my mouth - I used to read the forums regularly and enthusiastically but I can't be bothered anymore.

No, this isn't a rant about software economics and capitalism. I don't mind paying for a professinoal graphics package but I strenuously object to having a new version rushed out as a cash grab within a two months of the software being released. Charging for bug fixes so soon after release is akin to a car manufacturer asking customers to pay to have the malfunctioning SRS airbags replaced in the car that they bought the day it was released two months earlier.
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin
« Last Edit: September 22, 2007, 05:43:30 PM by Darwin »

Carol Haynes

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Re: Magix (Xara) rant...
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2007, 04:49:34 PM »
When they announced 3.2 as a forthcoming release I emailed the Xara team and they told me if you have version 3.02 don't bother upgrading unless there is something you really need (unlikely) which was at least honest.

I emailed them after the release complaining of the fast turn around of paid versions and the general direction things were going and told them I was no longer willing to promote a company that behaves that way through the affiliate scheme (which is why you no longer see Xara in my sig). I got a very polite reply which suggested that they understood my reasoning and were sympathetic.

It seems Magix is to blame and looking around the web at other aquisitions they made it look like typical behaviour. Xara as a company/development team are still actually producing and distributing Xara Xtreme Pro etc. and I actually feel a bit sorry for them. Not enough to buy any more versions though!

I feel pretty pissed off at the whole situation - I have been a customer since Xara was called ArtWorks (and the company called ComputerConcepts) and only ran on Acorn RiscOS computers (I also used their fabulous DTP app Impression written in really efficient Risc assembler - worked like lightening and did pretty much what most DTP apps do now) but no longer. I'd guess many of their customers will feel the same way.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2007, 04:52:10 PM by Carol Haynes »

Darwin

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Re: Magix (Xara) rant...
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2007, 05:59:10 PM »
I hear you Carol. I'm waiting on what happens when they release version 4 - the upgrade pricing structure will be a good indicator of which way things are going to go. I'm concerned that that's the point at which Magix decides to take Xtreme Pro into an even higher price category, maybe have it competitive with Corel Draw, but I'm just going to wait and see. If that is the way they're going to go I'm not going to keep upgrading anyway, so I'd just be throwing good money after bad paying for the 3.02 - 3.2 jump just on the offchance that doing so would make the 3.x to 4 upgrade affordable.
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Carol Haynes

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Re: Magix (Xara) rant...
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2007, 07:05:10 PM »
I don't think they will go to a compete with Corel Draw as Xara Xtreme Pro has a lot of functions - and in pure drawing terms is a good rival app - but it doesn't have nearly the breadth that Corel Draw has. In particular they would have to improve the painting aspect of Xara hugely to have any chance of competing.

If they do try to match the Corel product I think they are stupid - at the moment Xara is a unique product and IMHO it should stay that way. It's main advantage is sheer speed of rendering as you draw and edit - it outstrips everything else. If they just bloat it up to compete current users will be very unhappy.

Beth UK

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Re: Magix (Xara) rant...
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2007, 07:41:15 PM »
Just following this discussion with interest as an Adobe Illustrator user. The Adobe pricing structure is a nightmare too!

But... on the subject of interesting graphics programs with vector capabilities etc etc... have you tried Real Draw by Media Chance - http://www.mediachance.com/realdraw/? I have had a fondness for this for quite a while.

Media Chance are not the fastest at updates, but they have been around a long while. Their pricing structure is interesting too! They encourage you to donate for upgrades - and as I understand it you don't have to. Costs $55...


edbro

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Re: Magix (Xara) rant...
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2007, 08:28:52 PM »
Costs $55...
Unless you act now, Back to school special is only $35.

Darwin

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Re: Magix (Xara) rant...
« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2007, 09:42:39 PM »
You're absolutely, right, Carol. I'm not so sure that Magix "gets it" though, and that is why I am concerned...

Beth you posted as I was typing the above (and I went on an ice cream run so just discovered that my post didn't go up!) - you're right about RealDraw. I've been attracted by it for some time, though I've yet to take a look at it.

And edbro too! $35... tempting...
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Darwin

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Re: Magix (Xara) rant...
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2007, 08:51:30 AM »
Great Scott! I've managed to start a thread that I've already started - even the wording is similar  :huh:. I don't know if this a sign of early onset dementia or just the result of sleep depravation but the only thing salvaging this from being a complete waste is that Company Complaints is a more appropriate board for it... (Darwin shuffles off in his woolly sheepskin slippers, muttering to himself).

Sorry everyone. This is really embarrassing  :-[.

 :-[
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Darwin

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Re: Magix (Xara) rant...
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2007, 10:39:28 AM »
Just to combine some info from the other thread and extrapolate from it... note that Carol was annoyed to discover that the price of an update to 3.2 had gone up to $49.99 in June and that it has now gone up to $59.99. Not good. The price keeps rising...
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Carol Haynes

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Re: Magix (Xara) rant...
« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2007, 05:23:44 AM »
If anyone is interested Xara are doing 25% off upgrades until 3rd October.

That means Xtreme Pro to 3.2 is $44

Darwin

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Re: Magix (Xara) rant...
« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2007, 08:37:57 AM »
Quote
Media Chance are not the fastest at updates, but they have been around a long while. Their pricing structure is interesting too! They encourage you to donate for upgrades - and as I understand it you don't have to. Costs $55...

Just took a look at this again - it's not so much a donation based upgrade scheme as the honour system. However, the upgrade fee is only $20, which is very reasonable.

Carol - I had noticed the $44 "upgrade" to Xtreme Pro 3.2. I've been dithering a bit about whether or not I want to do this - seems like a crap shoot because while I love the product (could care less about the Magix jpg editor and Xara 3D, mind) and would like to continue with it, I really want to see what direction they're going 6 months to a year from now. I don't really need 3.2 right now - but I'd hate to miss the opportunity to buy the upgrade to Xara Xtreme 4 for $39.95 as opposed to $100+ (or more - note how the regular price for both new purchases and for upgrades keeps going up in 20% increments or so? A new licence for Xtreme Pro has gone from $170 to $249 since February) for peple upgrading from earlier versions. On the other hand, if they keep rolling out minor upgrades and bug fixes and making their customers pay for them, I might at that point be walking away in disgust anyway (and hence out $44).

Decisions, decisions... actually, not much of a decision, I guess. I still REALLY resent being asked to pay for bug fixes and a point release...
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Carol Haynes

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Re: Magix (Xara) rant...
« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2007, 10:06:08 AM »
You summed up my feelings very nicely  :-\

Beth UK

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Re: Magix (Xara) rant...
« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2007, 10:07:49 AM »
This is not strictly to do with Magix or Xara (although it is in a way!) but one of my real hates is when software companies (ACDsee, Xara, Adobe etc etc) start to circumnavigate their initial pricing policies by adding on 'Ultra', 'Studio' and 'Mega Professional' versions. Qimage did this a couple of years back when they added their 'Studio' version as a step up from what had been their 'Pro' version (which was a 'lifetime licence'). I am not a fan of lifetime licences because I think it is not a realistic pricing policy but I do hate transparent manipulation of upgrading/versioning policies where you end up paying for bug fixes rather than features.

Carol Haynes

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Re: Magix (Xara) rant...
« Reply #15 on: September 26, 2007, 10:16:33 AM »
Yes I agree - I bought FruityLoops a while back and I purchased - yes PURCHASED as an extra - lifetime upgrades.

I was smiling and feeling happy with things until the next version came out in two formss - guess what they changed the name from FruityLoops to "FruityLoops Studio" and "FruityLoops Producer" - and you guessed it these were not included in the lifetime upgrade because they were 'different products'. You could of course buy a life time upgrade extension to these new products (which looked in every way identical to the old version). I'm sorry ... if it looks like a dog, eats dog food, and barks it probably is a dog !!! Needless to say there were a lot of really pissed users - I seem to remember they finally relented. Now they just seem to release bug fixes and add most new features by adding plugins - which of course you have to purchase because they aren't part of the base product!

Darwin

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Re: Magix (Xara) rant...
« Reply #16 on: October 10, 2007, 09:09:58 PM »
Just to note, RealDraw Pro is nice. However, from reading over the forum postings it appears to be abandoned at the moment. I'll keep my eye on it...
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Deozaan

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Re: Magix (Xara) rant...
« Reply #17 on: October 10, 2007, 09:48:49 PM »
I bought Xara X1 from an offer posted earlier on this site and I can't get them to stop sending me spam about the latest Xara versions.

I've clicked the unsubscribe link several times. Sadly my awesome spam-free e-mail account now gets spam from Xara and only Xara.


Carol Haynes

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Re: Magix (Xara) rant...
« Reply #18 on: October 11, 2007, 04:34:42 AM »
I bought Xara X1 from an offer posted earlier on this site and I can't get them to stop sending me spam about the latest Xara versions.

I've clicked the unsubscribe link several times. Sadly my awesome spam-free e-mail account now gets spam from Xara and only Xara.

Two thoughts - email their support and complain. They aren't always quick at replying but I have always had a reply from them within a week or so. If you don't get a satisfactory response point out that they are a UK company (Xara is based in Hertfordshire) and therefore governed by UK law which makes unsolicited commercial email illegal.

Alternatively just set up a filter to dump all their mail straight into trash - they always use the same email address to post from so it shouldn't be a problem.

Darwin

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Re: Magix (Xara) rant...
« Reply #19 on: October 11, 2007, 09:23:44 AM »
I've bought three products from Xara online using the same e-mail address each time and have never received any spam from them. Odd. Follow Carol's advice - hopefully doing so will get you sorted out.

I note from having visited the Xara forum for the first time in ages that everyone seems to have moved on (from the paid update kerfluffle). Looks like business as usual now. It will be interesting to see what happens over the next couple of months (as it will have been a year since Magix bought them out). I wonder if we'll see v. 4 soon... and what the upgrade path will be...
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Darwin

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Re: Magix (Xara) rant...
« Reply #20 on: March 29, 2008, 10:00:42 AM »
Update: Version 4 is indeed out now as a late beta with release set for next week. Visit the TalkGraphics announcement from Xara's founder, Charles Moir, for details and pricing...

http://www.talkgraph...owthread.php?t=31909
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tomos

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Re: Magix (Xara) rant...
« Reply #21 on: March 29, 2008, 02:19:32 PM »
Update: Version 4 is indeed out now as a late beta with release set for next week. Visit the TalkGraphics announcement from Xara's founder, Charles Moir, for details and pricing...

wonder what an "extrude" tool is  :)
$249 new

sounds very good - the details etc
Tom

Darwin

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Re: Magix (Xara) rant...
« Reply #22 on: March 29, 2008, 04:17:19 PM »
Extrude - sounds vaguely unpleasant, doesn't it  :o
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

cranioscopical

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Re: Magix (Xara) rant...
« Reply #23 on: March 29, 2008, 06:01:56 PM »
I'm surprised you don't know this!

In Xara the term Extrude is a short form of Extra Rude.
So, for example, one click on the extrude-tool icon and the program
pops up a requester bearing an insult and then draws a vector image
on your screen representing a vulgar gesture. (What's really
impressive about this is the speed with which it can insult you!)

 

Deozaan

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Re: Magix (Xara) rant...
« Reply #24 on: March 29, 2008, 07:35:15 PM »
I'm surprised you don't know this!

In Xara the term Extrude is a short form of Extra Rude.
So, for example, one click on the extrude-tool icon and the program
pops up a requester bearing an insult and then draws a vector image
on your screen representing a vulgar gesture. (What's really
impressive about this is the speed with which it can insult you!)

I bet you love Balderdash, don't you?