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Author Topic: Xara Xtreme and Xtreme Pro upgraded to 3.2 - Proceed with caution: Info-rant!  (Read 6540 times)

Darwin

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Xara, 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.

Info-rant over.
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin
« Last Edit: June 11, 2007, 07:45:43 PM by Darwin »

tomos

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The Upgrade price alone (to Pro from Xtreme or X1) is now $170
Tom

Carol Haynes

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I emailed Xara awhile back about this and they pretty candidly told me not to bother upgrading from Xtreme Pro unless there is something really compelling I want in the Magix version.

I can't help feeling that the days of a fast, clean, efficient and brilliantly designed package at a reasonable price are coming to an end - looks like we are heading for price hikes and a bloatfest - in which case I am sticking with Xtreme Pro  as long as I can and after that I will make the effort to learn Adobe Illustrator properly (it's on my system but I still find myself drawn to Xara's products because they are quicker, more intuitive and just  plain cool to use).

Carol (sobbing into a large hanky .... in  mourning)

PS: I am now going to remove the Xara link from my sig as I don't really like the way things are developing.

Carol Haynes

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PS: For what it is worth here is a list of what's new int he current version:

http://www.xara.com/.../xtreme/whatsnew.asp

There look like to be some useful additions lower down the list: import/export options, text handling improvements etc.  - but most of it is pure window dressing and bug fixes in all but name (smoother scrolling, rotation and more keyboard shortcuts are hardly a .2 upgrade worth $50 ... and Vista compatibility doesn't make a big selling points to my mind). Embedded linking to edit bitmaps is useful - but hardly revolutionary. The price they are charging now for new purchases will make Adobe Creative Suite 3 standard seem attractive - given that they suggest Photoshop as the editor of choice!

It is probably worth noting that there is also a new Xtreme 3.2 (not Pro) which can be got for $79 (full price) - which isn't bad value.

Upgrade prices for Xtreme Pro 3.2 (includes download and unlock code followed by retail package with printed manual) are:

From Xtreme Pro $49
From Xtreme and X1 $170
From Xara XS, Xara X, CorelXARA, ArtWorks, Xara Studio or Webster 2 $199

I'm sure I was told recently that the upgrade from Pro was going to be $39 - so that is a bit disappointing.

[Edit]
The upgrade versions from Xtreme Pro to Xtreme Pro 3.2 do not included printed manuals - these have not changed since version 3.0 !!!
[/Edit]

« Last Edit: June 12, 2007, 08:20:50 AM by Carol Haynes »

Darwin

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I share your pain, Carol. I'm *hoping* that if I take what I perceive to be their advice and wait for the next version (4, I guess) that all will be well. However, I suspect that Xtreme Standard is going to go the way of Paint Shop Pro (ie increasingly dumbed down as each release comes out to try to grab new users) and that the Pro version is going to go the way of Illustrator in terms of pricing. In my (senselessly  :P) humble opinion, this is NOT the way to take on Adobe. I *think* Xara were on the right track right before they announced the takeover (two related product lines, keep it simple, quick and cheap even in the pro range, at least initially). This just looks to me like Magix trying to squeeze money out of existing users right quick to justify to their investors the purchase price of Xara.

I'm glad that I'm not alone in feeling this way - the talkgraphics board looks to be split about 50/50 on the issue - there's a pretty vocal group decrying the paid upgrade and pointing out that there's not enough there to warrant it. Current users of Xara 3D are also EXTREMELY annoyed that there is no further discount available to them.

I'll just keep using Pro, watch from the sidelines, and hope my fears are groundless.
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Carol Haynes

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I'm glad that I'm not alone in feeling this way - the talkgraphics board looks to be split about 50/50 on the issue - there's a pretty vocal group decrying the paid upgrade and pointing out that there's not enough there to warrant it. Current users of Xara 3D are also EXTREMELY annoyed that there is no further discount available to them.

Ditto ... I have bought (and upgraded) Xara 3D since version 4 and am a bit pissed off they are now treating it as a filler. I'm also annoyed that if they consider this a paid upgrade why is there insufficient change to warrant an updated manual?

Quote
I'll just keep using Pro, watch from the sidelines, and hope my fears are groundless.

Same here but I am not holding my breath ... I have emailed them telling them that I no longer wish to keep my 'affiliated' status (whereby I get a little commission on sales). I haven't said why - it'll be interesting if they need to ask ...

tomos

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Was going to post it here
but thought it veering off topic so started a new thread

List of Vector Illustration Alternatives
Tom

KenR

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Wow. I made a post about this myself (http://www.donationc...dex.php?topic=8842.0) and guess I should have read the postings first. I see I am not the only one who is upset about Xara. Maybe I should just take the loss and go back to Photoshop.

Ken
Kenneth P. Reeder, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychologist
Jacksonville, North Carolina  28546

KenR

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Ok, this has gotten me curious. What are people using for their general graphics and image design/editing?

Thanks, Ken
Kenneth P. Reeder, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychologist
Jacksonville, North Carolina  28546

Darwin

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Maybe it's time to start a poll?
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

KenR

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Fantastic idea. What is the best way to do that? Since you seem to get about 100 posts/day, I assume you know better than I how to do that. :)

Ken
Kenneth P. Reeder, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychologist
Jacksonville, North Carolina  28546

tomos

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Fantastic idea. What is the best way to do that? Since you seem to get about 100 posts/day, I assume you know better than I how to do that. :)

Yup, he's experienced  :D

POLL: How many students are active here (instead of writing up?!)
Tom

Darwin

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Thanks for the plug, Tom! Sort of reminds me of the old Hendrix classic - "Are You Experienced?".

Anyway, Ken, starting a poll:

Just navigate to the main "General Software Discussion" board (assuming you want to place it there) and click on the far right option "Post New Poll". It's really easy to set up - the hard bit is coming up with the wording for the questions. All good fun!
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

allen

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This reminds me of all the discomfort during the "Corel Xara" days . . . but the effects this round are far more devastating, hit the wallet not just the branding.

Ungh.  All I can really say. Ungh.

My Xara!

iphigenie

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I never went for the pro version, still very happy with the non pro one

Darwin

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Yup - standard version is just fine. However, the paid upgrade affects both standard and Pro versions (people are more p.o.'d about the Pro versin because it's only been out for six months with one minor update) and most peoples' money over at talkgraphics seems to be on the Standard "line" being rebranded as Magix Xtreme and dumbed down while the Pro line will remain Xara in name but have it's pricing structure changed to the Magix model and to a pricing point that will be considerably higher than it has been. Magix' model for pricing seems to be to release lots of updates that add bells and whistles and to charge for them. What I resent about this, and about what has happened with the Pro version already, is that this seems to me to be an excuse to get people to pay for bug fixes. Pro hasn't had any bug fixes -though there have been plenty of bugs in both it and the Standard version pointed out on the users' forum in the last six months and a lot of what is being released as the paid upgrade to 3.2 consists of bug fixes and functionality tweaks with a couple of new programmes thrown in to mask the bad taste it leaves in one's mouth...
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

tomos

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sort of BTW:
I flew home at the weekend and got a suprise on page 3 of the in-flight magazine

a full page add for Magix Xtreme ...
Tom