The International X-ray Observatory (IXO) is a candidate mission in the ESA Space Science Programme Cosmic Visions 1525. IXO is being studied as a joint mission with NASA and JAXA. The mission is building on novel optics technologies to achieve the required performance for this demanding astrophysics observatory. The European X-ray optics technology baseline is the Silicon Pore optics (SPO), which is being developed by an industrial consortium. In a phased approach the performance, environmental compatibility and industrial production aspects are being addressed. As a back-up technology ESA is also investigating slumped glass optics, which forms the baseline for the NASA approach. The paper presents a summary of the ESA led optics technology preparation activities and the associated roadmap.© (2010) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.