Feeds

Techscape: A Wordwise veteran

Moir of a technologist or an entrepreneur

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

The Atari UK MD quickly reassured the American legend who earlier had created the Commodore 64 (the Yank equivalent of the BBC Micro) selling millions of units and according to Moir “started a revolution.” The Brit calmly pointed out, “This is Acorn. They’re not a threat. They’ll screw it up; they always do,” he said.

Moir agreed with that assessment both at the time and, certainly, today given the Acorn brand has been wiped off the face of the Earth. But he was sad to see the elegant machine go.

With a grand old pile and funds to go through a comfortable, cavalier life, why does Moir continue to work in technology?

“I’d get bored as hell if I didn’t do something,” he says, more like a recent retiree than a man in his productive prime, “Tech interests me. I’ve never worked for anyone else. I’ve never had a job.”

The “something” Moir does now is called Xara and is first and foremost a software development company. This he says, is the core business which generates the lion’s share of revenue and blasts out “mass market” software products which are diverse but also mainly graphics-oriented. “In many ways, Xara is a product-line extension of Wordwise. In fact, I think if you were to call us up we might be able to find a copy and sell it to you,” he said chuckling.

Xara fillips

A second business is the online distribution arm which markets software which allows the user to establish a web site efficiently. During the giddy dot-com days, this type of product was the Holy Grail because of the gold rush mentality to go online. So while the general software sector languishes with limp sales and no more VC exhilaration, this area is still the high-potential one for Moir. "This side of the business sits there, not a serious revenue-generator. We watch it and are ready to rebuild it if the time is right—but it’s a matter of focus.”

Moir’s current focus is on a new product called Xara Xtreme, which Xara calls “the fastest most versatile graphics software available.” Hype? Moir says not. “This general purpose graphics software competes with Corel Draw and Illustrator,” he says, while this new product is also looking forward to a head-on collision with Microsoft’s new Expression Graphic Designer software, part of Vista. Moir says it’ll issue a wake-up call to the world’s leading consumer software company. “No one competes with Microsoft and takes it lightly,” he adds ominously.

While certainly true, Microsoft will be scrutinizing another aspect of Xara Xtreme even more closely: a recent Open Source launch of Xtreme which will threaten the big, monopolistic company on a second front.

Is Moir a Linux devotee? “The evolution of the Linux desktop over the last few years has been incredible,” he gushes. All systems at Xara, he says, are dual-booting while he tends to boot up the Windows side more regularly because they develop on that dominant platform. That may change dramatically he is quick to point out.

Does he believe that over the next year or two, he’ll be booting up Linux more and more while booting up Windows less and less?

“Absolutely.”

Bill Robinson has appeared on CNN, PBS, Bloomberg and had his own segment on SKY News commenting on high-tech and marketing issues and has written columns and articles for FORTUNE Small Business, The Financial Times, Marketing Magazine (UK), Forbes.com, The Moscow Times, Cisco Systems iQ Magazine, United Airline's Hemispheres Magazine and Upside Magazine. Bill may be reached at: bill@relentlessmarketing.com

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
IRS boss on XP migration: 'Classic fix the airplane while you're flying it attempt'
Plus: Condoleezza Rice at Dropbox 'maybe she can find ... weapons of mass destruction'
Ditch the sync, paddle in the Streem: Upstart offers syncless sharing
Upload, delete and carry on sharing afterwards?
New Facebook phone app allows you to stalk your mates
Nearby Friends feature goes live in a few weeks
Microsoft TIER SMEAR changes app prices whether devs ask or not
Some go up, some go down, Redmond goes silent
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.