Xara (now owned by German company Magix) have just released a new version of their flagship Xtreme product. Upgrades for both the standard and pro editions are available, and a comprehensive list of changes is available from this Google Docs document.

Over at TalkGraphics, it’s getting something of a mixed reaction; those who use Xtreme primarily for its vector graphics capabilities to create artwork are somewhat miffed at the apparent paucity of new vector-related features, but other users are happy to see such longstanding requests as a spell-checker, and better object/layer management tools.

Personally, I can understand both viewpoints; historically, Xara was very much focussed on the digital artist, but the last few updates seem to be an attempt at broadening its user-base to include basic website design and desktop publishing. If it brings in the funding to continue development, and doesn’t get in the way of creating artwork, then I’m all for it. Let’s hope the next version has some more groundbreaking vector-related improvements though.

Interestingly it’s one of the first software titles I’ve seen that specifically mentions Windows 7 support – I know that much everything that was Vista compatible should work under 7, but it’s always good to be reassured.

I’ve managed to avoid starting on the redesign of wightmusic.com by playing with Xtreme 5 for long enough… back to work it is…!

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