When we announced Expression Studio last December, we saw great excitement from both the design and development community – excitement that is clearly reflected in the hundreds of thousands of CTP and trial downloads we’ve already seen. Following the announcement we received a lot of questions about why we did not include some of these products, particularly Expression Web, within customers’ MSDN subscriptions.
In hearing this feedback, my team started looking into the matter in more detail and we talked to customers about how they are planning to use these products. One common theme emerged, and that is developers could better collaborate with designers if they had some experience with the new tools the designers are using. Even if you might not be using the Expression tools primarily, having a wider understanding of how they work and the information they produce will ensure greater communication and quality between design and development.
Based on this feedback, I am pleased to say that we will be making Expression Web available starting today to all MSDN Premium subscribers. We will also make Expression Blend available to MSDN Premium subscribers shortly after the Expression Studio release later in Q2 2007. Expression Blend and Expression Web are intended to help creative professionals collaborate with developers to create rich user experiences for the Web, Windows Vista applications and beyond, which means we need to make sure both tools are readily available to our developer community.
The decision extends to all MSDN Premium subscribers, including those with Visual Studio Professional and Visual Studio Team Edition’s. For customers that have premium subscriptions to Visual Studio Team Suite, we will be making the entire Expression Studio available to them.
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.
I want to thank everyone for taking the time to provide feedback to my team, and helping us drive to this decision. Listening to our community is one of the key drivers for my team, and I assure you that every voice can make a difference.