, which was recently acquired by Magix
, has released a paid upgrade to their vector graphics illustration program, Xtreme
. Xtreme comes in both standard and Pro versions. The Pro version was released to great fanfare in December 2006, immediately before the Magix takeover. One small bug fix update was released on Jan.17 and now version 3.2 has been released. This release includes a number of feature enhancements and bug fixes along with an apparently "Xara tweaked" version of Magix' Graphic Designer which is included to allow the user to manipulate digital photographs. More important is the newly added feature of being able to select the photo editor of one's choice. The Pro version also comes bundled with Xara 3D
. I *believe* that this also heralds a price bump to $249 US (I am pretty sure it was either $179 or $199 before the release, but could be wrong).
Overall, I'm still smarting from paying to upgrade to the Pro version (a brand new app) in December and being expected to pay to move up 2/10's of a version to get what to my mind seems to be largely bug fixes and feature enhancements with two new apps tossed in, neither of which I have the slightest interest in. No one has a gun to my head to upgrade, as has been pointed out repeatedly on the talkgraphics board, and while I'm downloading the trial as I write this (still debating whether to bother installing it), I doubt very much that I'll be doing so. Xara itself advises prospective upgraders to evaluate carefully before upgrading and note that many users may wish to skip this upgrade and wait for the next. Almost like they're saying "our new corporate masters are forcing this on us - read between the lines and take our advice: hold onto your wallets until something more substantial comes down the pike".
I really don't know whether to be ranting about this or not. I've held off in the past - there has been considerable angst on their users' forum since this was announced in February - as I've been waiting to see what wound up being offered in 3.2. I guess I still haven't had time to absorb what it contains and whether or not this is worthwhile. I will say this: Xara Xtreme is a fantastic vector graphics package in either standard or Pro form and I love it. The issue isn't really about the product being good, it's more the "bad taste in the mouth" factor associated with a paid upgrade so soon after release. At any rate, an indepth look at the changes is being released this Friday by one of the Xara-user's gurus Gary Priester (his workbooks and tutorials are awe inspiring) and I guess I'll reserve final judgement until I've had a chance to read what he has to say.