Expression Blend 3: Free Download! Comments about Blend 3 and purchase justifications!

WOW! Expression Blend 3 is IMPRESSIVE! Download it for free from this site:

Here is a table for your justification to purchase Expression Blend 3 by your company when it comes out, you have time to make sure it gets in the fiscal year end budget.  If you are student employee or intern, start talking to your boss, just because you get it for free from Dreamspark or MSDNAA doesn’t mean your company can use it for free.


My Comments

Useful to justify purchase

Importing Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator files


Great that the Expression tool will tell you the features that are not supported!



Support for WPF and Silverlight graphic effects


Gradient tool improvements

Actually works, I thought the previous version required to much coordiation

Not useful, do the bean counters understand what this means?

Layout operation improvements

Fixed annoying alignment problem

Seems like a bug fix, certainly a reason to buy it, but keep it short for the bean counters

Design-time annotations

Looks like they are doing cut and paste from existing code, good idea!

Useful, makes work more efficient


Looks good`

Put an improved skin in an image in the justification

Creating templates from artwork

Saves time

Useful, saves time, time is money

Improved support for VSM

OMG, the state manager makes more sense to me now

Useful, tell the bean counters that this is a NEEDED tool, will make your stuff better, stronger!

State pinning


Bean counters might not get it and it could confuse them.  I wouldn’t mention it

Editing state transitions


Make a video for the bean counters, they might get it.  If it is written justifications, could be confusing

Drawing into state


Put it in the video, in fact just do the whole justification as a video, a short video


Makes life easier for the developers


XAML, C#, and Visual Basic Code Editing

Umm, many people thought you could already do this, I just used Visual Web developer which was free and easy to transit to

For the bean counters tell them this will make you and the (Graphic Artists or developers, pick the one you aren’t) work better together


Nice very nice


Using sample data

Good for both graphics and developer

Show this to the bean counter by using data they understand, steal one of their spreadsheets.

Data binding


Bind object properties

Drag and drop data items

Master/Detail list/detail views

Improved Data Context binding

Create hierarchical data connected application

Use the stolen spreadsheet from the cell above (don’t take anything with social security numbers on it, they aren’t interesting anyway)


Much better


Silverlight 3 support

Modify Silverlight APPS in Expression

Useful, put it in the video you are making.  If written, keep it short.

Web site support

Now I am getting bored


Using sample data

Expression 3, Silverlight and Web site combine as one

Put this in the efficiency column

Source file version control



TFS support

NICE! But boring for most

OMG! Tell the bean counter you will be able to show status and costs easily, if they spend a few more dollars for TFS


Ok, now we need the help files to be in sync with the Expression 3, cause they aren’t in Expression 2


More properties available to animate


Up to use to use for justification

Better support for easing in Silverlight

I like it

You may have to explain this to the bean counters

Animating to resource values


This is just confusing to most bean counters, if this makes a difference you’re stuck with Expression Blend 2




Improved embedding of fonts and subsets of fonts

Okey Dokey

See Cell above




Extensible Asset Library


Take time to explain this to the bean counters

Artboard extensibility

This means that you can make a tool to solve that hard problem you hate to have to do all of those keystrokes or whatever

Take the time to explain this one, it is critical

Extensible project templates

Templates = Efficiency

Make sure the bean counter uses real template files that end with a t




Docking and workspace configuration

This will speed up bringing in temps and so forth

Definitely mention this in the justification

Direct selection improvements

Design fix in my opinion

Could be confusing, why didn’t Microsoft do this from the beginning?

Marquee selection of points

Nice, efficiency

If you haven’t run over 5 minutes in your justification video

Auto-scroll and zoom improvements

Ok, yawn

Not a big deal for the bean counters, might be confusing

Keyboard shortcuts and modifier keys

Great, needed it earler

Do you really think the bean counters who live in excel really care about this?  Since this has been in Excel for awhile they may not understand the big deal.


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