New Expression Tools and WPF/E…Wow!

Today is a great day! If you're a professional designer or developer looking to create a next-generation user experience, clean out your network cable, and make way for some really cool downloads.

To start with, this morning we announced Microsoft Expression Studio, a complete set of professional design tools for creating rich user experiences. Among the announcements:

  • Expession Studio is made up of: Expression Web, Expression Blend, Expression Design and Expression Media.

  • As of today, you can download Expression Blend Beta 1 (formerly known as Expression Interactive Designer) and Expression Design December 2006 CTP (formerly known as Expression Graphic Designer). Both of these updates feature a greatly improved look-and-feel.

  • Expression Web is now a shipping product. I've been using it to design some small sites, and its CSS support is fantastic.

  • We've launched a new community for professional designers called the Microsoft Design Center. There's already some good stuff there, including some behind-the-scenes looks into the design of the Xbox 360, Windows Vista, and the 2007 Microsoft Office system.

If that isn't enough, we also released the first community technology preview of Windows Presentation Foundation/Everywhere, also known as "WPF/E." Key points:

  • WPF/E is a cross-platform browser plug-in for delivering rich media, animation, and video content (yes, I clipped that from a marketing blurb, and you have my apologies...but it does describe it quite well).

  • Spend an hour listening to Joe Stegman's Channel 9 interview about WPF/E.

  • Download the browser plug-in for Windows or OS X. The Windows version is currently compatible with Internet Explorer 6.0 and 7.0, and Mozilla Firefox and 2.0. The OSX version is currently compatible with Safari and Firefox on MacOSX 10.4.8.

  • Download the WPF/E SDK for samples, tools, documentation, and a Visual Studio 2005 project template. Note that you can also view the samples and documentation online (without the SDK).

  • There are three new WPF/E-related MSDN Forums to check out.

  • I've updated my Adobe Illustrator to XAML Export Plug-In to support the CTP of WPF/E. After you install this updated plug-in, you'll see Windows Presentation Foundation/Everywhere XAML (*.XAML) added to the available export formats.

For other resources and authorities on Microsoft Expression Studio and WPF/E, check out Joe Stegman, Mike HarshSean Alexander, and Scott Guthrie.

Whew! Anyone else want a cigarette!? 🙂

Comments (13)

  1. Alun Jones says:

    Of course, if you are such a professional developer, you’ll be upset to note that the current plan of record is to _not_ ship Expression Web with the MSDN subscription that you have.

  2. Sam Gentile says:

    Some exciting announcements and tools from Microsoft today. Michael Swanson's got all the information

  3. Bill Henning says:

    Good stuff… Michael, will the Expression suite be part of the MSDN Universal subscription?  I don’t see the Web product listed there yet.

  4. Microsoft announced today the re-branding of Microsoft Expression Interactive Designer (EID) as Microsoft…

  5. Jordan says:

    Please, oh please, bundle with MSDN subscriptions.  After all, these *are* essential Microsoft development tools…

  6. Fayez AlMutairi says:

    I have downloaded the WPF/E CTP & SDK, I played with them and have noticed that WPF/E does not fully support Unicode, as I use a TextBlock to test the display of Arabic text, WPF/E was rendering the text incorrectly as if it is rendering the text from left to right while it should render the text from right to left. This same behavior is true for Hebrew too which is also a right-to-left language.

  7. Al says:

    Not being available on MSDN dooms this cool tech. to failure.  If we developers can’t build ugly cool apps (and no I’m not going to waste my time on a demo version that times out) to demo to the rest of the company there is no way they are going to find out about it.  I seriously doubt any of our Flash guys are going to give it a second glance or waste time on a demo version.  Transitioning from ActionScript isn’t something you do with a demo version.

  8. Joris says:

    Well I don’t see any download links – just coming soon … Am I missing something?

  9. Scott Wintheiser says:

    Does Expression Web support VSS?

  10. jarka says:

    I’d like to see examples and howto on using Expression Web (which is now on MSDN) and being able to author WPF/E (XAML) code then add it in the web pages without getting out of the tool and doing a bunch of things by hand.  Any lead to where I can find the "specific" guidance will be great!

  11. Wick says:

    Are you kidding me!!!  Did Microsoft even ask designers what they would like to see when they were building a web designers suite?  Because I don’t see any VSS support in Expression Web anywhere.

    Basically Microsoft shot themselves in the foot on this one by not including support for their very own product, “SourceSafe”.  I’ve never worked for a serious business that didn’t utilize the code protection of VSS…  so therefor I should assume there will be no serious businesses asking their designers to convert to this affordable new software.

    So my question to you Microsoft is…  we’re you developing this crap for some jerk that just wants to build a web page overnight easily?  or did you try to build this for TRUE DESIGNERS, you know, the ones who went to college for design and push the envelope???

    This sucks because many aspects of Expression Web are very cool, but my company will not use it without support for SourceSafe, and by support I mean built into the application like Dreamweavers convenient file manager!!!

  12. Sam Gentile says:

    Some exciting announcements and tools from Microsoft today. Michael Swanson's got all the information

  13. Some exciting announcements and tools from Microsoft today. Michael Swanson’s got all the information here . Of big interest to me is the first Community CTP of WPF/E ….

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