Xara celebrates its 25th Anniversary
From a bedroom in a small English country village, in 1981, little did Charles Moir know that he was creating a software product – Wordwise, that would take the BBC Micro market by storm. From those little Acorns, his company grew vigorously to become one of the leading graphics software companies in the world. And now, the Xara Group is celebrating its 25th Anniversary.
In the 1980’s, trading as Computer Concepts, it became the largest developer of software for the BBC, Acorn, Atari and Archimedes computers. It was from the rewards of those early days that Charles Moir bought the historic country mansion, Gaddesden Place, which now houses the Xara offices.
Over the years Xara has developed a wide range of products covering the whole realm of publishing software. It has pioneered many technologies taken for granted nowadays – from the world’s first check-as-you-type spell checker in the early 80’s, to award winning desktop publishing software in the nineties, to today’s most advanced graphics technology. Xara continues to innovate and develop leading edge technical solutions to this day.
Xara has been involved in the Internet from the very beginning. Xara Networks, a subsidiary of the Xara Group, was a pioneer Corporate Internet provider in the mid 1990s (this business was successfully sold). Xara does most of its business via the Internet and has millions of online customers, worldwide.
Xara’s first Windows graphics software, Xara Studio, was licensed to Corel and distributed for many years as CorelXARA. Now back under Xara control this product has been enhanced and was relaunched as Xara X and recently developed to become Xara Xtreme.
The latest, and perhaps most ambitious plan, is to take on Adobe and Microsoft in an attempt to create a new industry standard in the graphics and publishing tool market. Xara Xtreme is evolving from a relatively niche graphics product for Windows only, into a general purpose graphics and publishing tool for Mac and Linux. Xara has recently open-sourced their product as part of this plan to establish it as an industry standard on Linux. This is territory neither Microsoft nor Adobe dare to tread.
” I could have retired many, many years ago but I’m on a mission to create the best graphics and publishing tools the world has ever seen.”, says Charles Moir. “I want to create a new industry standard. I’m sure that many people will think I’m mad, but I’m used to that. In the eighties they said we couldn’t compete against Acorn – we came to dominate that market. In the nineties they said we couldn’t compete with Corel – we were such a threat to them they tried to buy us out.
Now Xara is making waves again and people are starting to talk about us as a threat to Adobe, So that’s our challenge – to compete with Adobe and Microsoft. And we have something that they do not – an absolute passion for what we do, better technology and product and soon a product on all three platforms including open-source Linux. So lets see what this decade brings!” concludes Charles Moir in fighting mood.
Meanwhile, on 1st August, as part of our 25th Anniversary celebrations Xara is going mad for a day with a Once Only, One Day Only Offer – half price on all of our products. So everyone can share in our celebrations. www.xara.com/offers/25years/