Great decision: Expression Blend and Expression Web will be in MSDN

In case you haven’t already heard it from elsewhere we have decided to include Expression Blend and Expression Web in MSDN Premium subscriptions, and the other two Expression products (Expression Design and Expression Media) in the team suite subscription.

This is fantastic news if you’re an MSDN subscriber. Expression Blend, a tool that helps you construct slick and impressive UIs for WPF, is a great product and I know developers have been itching to get their hands on it. It’s currently in beta, scheduled for release in Q2 of this year. Although it’s actually aimed at designers it is useful for developers to see it and understand it as part of the attraction is how well it works hand-in-glove with Visual Studio.

Expression Web is a top-notch web development tool, released in December last year. I’ve spent some time using it and can confirm that a) it’s in a different world (a much better world) than Frontpage – this is a pro web design tool and b) it handles CSS better than anything I’ve ever seen.

Originally we weren’t going to include these in MSDN however we had feedback from the community (people like you) that caused us to re-evaluate that decision which lead to this announcement. To my mind this is a terrific example of us listening to the community and doing the right thing, and I'm really glad about the outcome.

Take a look at Soma's blog entry for more detail.

We will be running a number of developer events over the coming months that will include some coverage of these products so keep an eye on for details. And I'll blog them too of course 🙂

Comments (13)
  1. David Hearn says:

    Sounds great.  Nice to know they’ve been listening to us.

    I’m a bit confused about the Expression Design and Expression Media bit.  Soma says in his blog: "For customers that have premium subscriptions to Visual Studio Team Suite, we will be making the entire Expression Studio available to them."

    This suggests, as you said, that this would include Expression Design and Media.  However, he then goes on to say: "You may be asking, what about Expression Design and Expression Media?  Expression Blend and Expression Web are both designed to help creative professionals and developers work together to create rich user experiences for the Web, Windows Vista applications and beyond.  As Expression Design and Expression Media are not directly intended for application development, we feel they fall outside the current scope of MSDN Subscriptions.  We will be watching usage and collecting feedback of these expression products to help make further decisions in the future."

    This suggests that Design and Media won’t be available on MSDN, contrary to his previous line.

    Confused?  Me?  Never…

  2. f says:

    Expression Design is only in the team suite?


  3. Ian Moulster says:

    David – it will be in the team suite subscription, but won’t be in the lower-level versions. That’s the bottom line. I’ve just taken a look on the MSDN download area, Expression Web is there at the moment, the others will be there shortly.

    f – see the bit of Soma’s blog that David kindly included for the reasoning.

  4. Paul says:

    What’s this Ian, a second blog that has nothing to do with the Developer Launch Competition??? I’d stray back to the launch if I were you, you’ll be experiancing terrible withdrawal symptoms.

  5. Jones says:

    Does anyone know if it will appear on MSDNAA?

  6. Ian Moulster says:

    Jones – yes it is in MSDNAA.

  7. Philip Stears says:

    Awesome stuff – thanks for this!

  8. Ian Moulster says:

    By the way my comment above that "the others will be there shortly" is nonsense. They will be there when they move to RTM eg Q2 this year for Blend.

  9. mbrown says:


    I was wondering if you know whether expression blend will become available in technet?



  10. nojetlag says:

    good to see that the brain did finally kick in. I got the idea that the initial decision was made because some adobe guys run the show around the expression line and they seem to lack the understanding about the strength of MSFT’s developer ecosystem. Glad to see that MSFT does listen to the community. Keep the Adobe guys away from the people and close to the product and all will be good 😀

  11. mbrown says:

    Hi Ian,

    Just a quick question.  I am at work just now and my collegues and I have been looking at the expression studio as well as silverlight.  We have recently bought new computers with Vista installed as well as buying visual studio 2005 professional.  I noticed that for example to run expression blend 2 you need orcas installed in order to use silverlight.  Does that mean in order to developer silverlight applications – we will need the Orcas version of visual studio?

    Or will the expression packages and silverlight be 100% compatible with Visual Studio 2005 Professional.



  12. Ian Moulster says:

    Hi Mark – Silverlight development support will be in the Orcas version of Visual Studio. As for Blend, you can download an update to Expression Blend v1 to allow you to target Silverlight.

    I’m not aware whether we plan to include support in VS 2005 but I’ll double check and let you know.

  13. mbrown says:

    Excellent thanks for the reply.  I would appreciate it if you could find out about the VS 2005 support.



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