I’m probably the last Microsoft blogger on the planet to cover this, but Microsoft has decided to make Expression Web and Expression Blend available to MSDN Premium subscribers. Plus, the entire Expression Suite will be available with premium subscriptions to Visual Studio Team Suite.
I for one think this is great news. For starters, there are plenty of developers out there who also design user interfaces for web sites and applications – If only by necessity – there just aren’t enough designers to go around. Just as importantly though, giving developers ready access to Web and Blend gives them a tool to open the work of the designers they collaborate with – whether to just examine it, or to make some tweaks. Plus, partcularly for Blend and XAML, playing around in the design tool is a handy way to learn how XAML works from a coding viewpoint.
And if that aint good enough, I think this move will also help get the Expression tools into the hands of the designers they are intended for – via referals from their developer buddies: “Oh, so you’re the UI designer, huh? All us developers will be working in Visual Studio, so you’ll want to check this Expression stuff out…”