Open sourcing your application: Xara's experience

What have Openoffice and Mozilla got in common, apart from the fact that they are arguably two of the most successful open source projects? The answer is that they both have their roots in proprietary software.

Open Office started its life as Star Office, which was once a German business office software suite, whilst Mozilla has its origins in Netscape. Other open source applications that almost match their best paid alter egos are GIMP, Open Office, Linux, Mozilla.

However, one of the weak spots remained the lack of a potent open source vector based drawing application, but things could be changing.

A few weeks ago, British based outfit, Xara announced that it was planning to open source its vector based graphic software Xara Xtreme, whose origins can be found in technology once owned by Corel.

The move is in response to what the company says is increasing competition from Microsoft as well as the newly enlarged Adobe, which has two giants in the form of Illustrator and Freehand.

Open sourcing your main application, though, often comes out of desperation and must be well thought as your revenue sources are reduced to nought. Xara is looking to keep itself afloat by providing add-on support services.

With a small some dose of luck, someone will come forward with a package including NVU, Xara Xtreme and GIMP to take on Adobe’s graphics software suite.