I’m very happy to tell everyone that Expression Web is now available to MSDN premium subscribers. Expression Blend will become available as well once the product ships in Q2 2007. Several people asked about this on Monday night when I was attending the TechNet chalk talk on Microsoft Application Platform. During the event, I had a chance talk to a group of IT managers about Expression Web. They seemed excited to know that Expression Web is not another version of FrontPage and that it offers advanced CSS support for building standards-based websites. However, their next question is: is it going to be available for MSDN premium subscribers? Now I’m delighted to say “Yes.”
Here is a quick briefing on Expression Studio if you are not familiar with it. Expression Studio is designed to help creative professionals collaborate with developers to create rich user experience on the web, desktop, and beyond. It greatly supports designer-developer workflow in the development cycle with a family of four tools: Expression Web, Blend, Design, and Media.
Although the targeted users of Expression are designers, I think it’s a great idea to let developers access and play with these tools (at least Expression Web and Expression Blend). Once developers get familiar with the tools that designers use, they have a better understanding of what can be accomplished with these design tools without backend implementation. Many developers are designers (or vice versa), and Expression tools such as Blend allows them to create compelling designs quickly which can be easily used in development. This lets them spend more time evaluating the usability of their designs. It’s a great chance to broaden the design community and encourage more developers to care about user experience.