A New Era of Expression

I was very excited last year when we released the first version of Expression Studio to help bring the professional designer into the software development process for client and standards-based web applications.  This suite of designer tools opened up a new world of creative possibility for applications. 


Today we released the beta version of Expression Studio 2 which includes Expression Web, Expression Blend, Expression Design, Expression Media and Expression Encoder.  This release continues to enable building rich client applications with WPF and also helps designers target Silverlight for delivering stunning web applications.


There are many exciting new features in this release.  For example, Expression Web allows you to design PHP documents in addition to ASP.NET 3.5, opening the door for a new range of designers to create their standards-based designs using Microsoft tools.  Expression Blend has an improved interface that speeds up your workflow and facilitates navigating your documents more quickly with the new breadcrumb toolbar.  Expression Design includes an advanced slicing feature that helps you target individual slices as separate formats, including Silverlight canvas, WPF canvas, WPF resource dictionary, HTML comp, XAML, PSD, and PDF.  Expression Media makes digital asset management easy by allowing you to import more than 100 different media formats using drag-and-drop, including digital camera RAW files, then share the resulting catalogue with fellow team members.   Finally, Expression Encoder has higher quality and faster encoding for Silverlight and the ability to perform simple video edits.


To enable designers to begin exploring the power of Silverlight 2, today we also released Expression Blend 2.5 March 2008 Preview, a pre-release of the next version of Blend (post Expression Studio 2) that will eventually ship alongside Silverlight 2. As Silverlight and other platform technologies continue to advance, we will regularly release refreshes of our developer and designer tooling.


With Expression Studio 2, we are also introducing the Expression Professional Subscription, a new premium offering targeted at professional designers which complements the existing MSDN subscriptions for developers.  This annual subscription will provide convenient access to the newest Microsoft and 3rd-party software.  The subscription includes free updates to future versions of included products (e.g., Expression Studio, Visual Studio, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Office 2007, Visio and others) during the subscription period guaranteeing you have the latest tools for delivering your designs.  We are also including preconfigured virtualized environments with Microsoft servers and services such as Windows Server 2008, IIS7, and SQL Server to help designers get going quickly.


Inspiration, freedom to explore and self expression are important elements of the creative process and the Expression Community site we launched last week is about bringing professional designers together to inspire each other, discover new techniques and share their creations with fellow community members.  We want this site to strengthen our ties with the spectrum of designers at all levels by providing a rich destination for learning, sharing and discovery.


Whether you are creating visual artifacts, animating your application, building your website, editing videos or generating encoded content, Expression Studio has the tool for you.  You can access the beta here and send us your feedback as well as join and participate in the Expression Community.




Comments (24)

  1. Jason says:

    Will existing MSDN subscribers have access to Blend and/or expression studio? Or will we have to purchase a new subscription??

  2. Kevin Daly says:

    The Blend 2.5 download link is broken.

  3. Mike Dennis says:

    Will current Expression Studio users be able to upgrade to Expression Studio 2 without having to buy it again or buy that subscription?  Those other products usually have more than a year or so before there is a new version.  It would really be nice to not have to spent $360 every year to get the newest Expression Upgrade…

  4. MegP_MS says:

    The Blend 2.5 download link has been fixed.  Thanks!  http://www.microsoft.com/expression/products/download.aspx?key=blend2dot5

  5. Keith Smith says:

    Jason: Expression Blend and Expression Web are both included in "Visual Studio Professional with MSDN Premium" already today. The entire Expression Studio is included with "Visual Studio Team Suite with MSDN Premium."

    See this link for more information:


    Keith Smith

    Director of Product Management

    Expression Studio

  6. Keith Smith says:


    Yes, there will be an upgrade option for existing Expression Studio customers to Expression Studio 2. As part of our rapid release cadence we intend to deliver additional capabilities and features that make Expression Studio better and better. This is great for customers who need those new features as soon as possible.

    The Expression Professional Subscription will provide access to the latest releases of not only Expression Studio products, but a number of other Microsoft and 3rd-party products as well, for a one year period. You will be able to lock in value today, at a relatively low cost, and get some price protection as new products become available.

    Keith Smith

    Director of Product Management

    Expression Studio

  7. Nyheter vid Mix08 – Silverlight

  8. memodude says:

    @Keith Smith: That doesn’t answer the question /at all/.

  9. Expression Studio 2 Beta Release

  10. Bob R says:


    Developers such as myself are used to a different, longer, product lifecycle from Microsoft products. Windows, Visual Studio and Office have service pack regimes to provide a reasonable product lifetime for customers.

    Having bought a copy of Expresion Studio *last week* so I could learn the tools to complement VS2008 for WPF/Silverlight development. Now it appears that Silverlight support is in a whole new version rather than a Service Pack as custom would suggest for a product less than a year old.

    Please would you state the upgrade pricing for Expression Studio now so that I can decide whether to try to return the copy I have just bought!

  11. Andrew Waters says:


    Now the entire Expression Studio is available within the Expression Professional Subscription will this also be available in the Development Edition of Team System with MSDN Premium as currently it includes only Blend and Web Expression?

    If not as I have this under a 3yr Open Value arrangement will there be a downward transition path to avoid the additional Expression Suite purchase cost?

    What are my options?



  12. Elena Malnati says:

    I’d like to have – if available – more info on the Expression Professional Subscription, will this be a sepatared product like the MSDN operating systems, an add-on for other MSDN types or a new kind of MSDN team, like the database flavor, architect, tester and developer?

    And which transition/upgrade paths there will be?

    I just bought last week a two years renewal of the MSDN premium + team developer  –  and two months ago the expression studio UPG (because I needed also designer).

    But anyhow I’m very happy to see this rapid appearance of new features, congratulations people at Microsoft Expression!

  13. Keith Smith says:

    memodude: Can you be more specific so I can try again?

    Bob R: Your purchase falls within the grace period that extends from Feb 4 to Expression 2 RTM. Customers who purchase an Expression v1 product during this period will qualify for a free upgrade to the equivalent Expression 2 product.

    The Studio v1 to Studio 2 upgrade will be at an estimated retail price of $349. The full version of Studio 2 will retail for $699 or $100 more than the cost of Studio v1.

    Andrew Waters: The subscriptions are completely independent so Expression Professional Subscription (EPS) will not be included in any level of the existing MSDN Subscriptions. We will offer a way for existing MSDN subscribers to add on EPS separately. This information will be provided to resellers/retailers shortly.

    Elena Malnati: I believe I answered your question in my replies to Andrew and Bob. Let me know if you have any additional questions.

  14. anonymous says:

    "The Expression Professional Subscription will provide access to the latest releases of not only Expression Studio products, but a number of other Microsoft and 3rd-party products as well, for a one year period."

    Does this mean the licenses are only valid up to a year? Or this is like the MSDN subscription, where your upgrades are covered within that span but the previous version license you got during that period is a perpetual license?

  15. Keith Smith says:

    Yes, Expression Professional Subscription will include perpetual licenses just like the MSDN Subscriptions.

  16. Andrew Waters says:

    Keith, Thanks for the quick response however I am confused by your reply and would be grateful if you could please clarify.

    You say "…(EPS) will not be included in any level of the existing MSDN Subscriptions." and "existing MSDN subscribers to add on EPS separately".

    I understand that the EPS is separate but I already enjoy many of benefits under the Visual Studio Team System 2008 Development Edition with MSDN Premium (TS Dev) ie

    "the subscription includes free updates to future versions of included products (e.g., Expression Studio, Visual Studio, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Office 2007, Visio and others) "

    My questions are around how most cost effectively to get the benefit of Expression Studio 2. I am already using Blend as part of TSDev.

    1.) Will Blend 2.5 rtm be available as part of TS Dev (as the current version is)?

    2.) Will Expression Studio 2 be part of TS Suite (as the current version is)?

    3.) Is Expression Studio 2 an upgrade option for TS Dev?

    4.) How do we get price protection for future upgrades (is it only through EPS)?

    These are superb products and I applaud the team for their acheivements.


  17. Ben Edwards says:

    BOM options is the #2 new option for Expression Web?  This feature annoys me daily and I really thought it was going to be included in a service pack.  I guess I should feel happy if you guys are going to be updating ExWeb faster than you did for Frontpage.

    A separate question …  Is MS working on any other type of technology to replace Frontpage Server Extensions?  It is absolutely killer for making live edits to sites, but a complete pain to maintain.  Also its not even included by default with Server 2008.  If you are not working on this it would be awesome if you guys could start having some conversations about replacing it.  FTP sucks as far as publishing goes and webdav is even worse.

  18. consumer4beta@hotmail.com says:

    Does this also mean that for those who’ve already installed Team Suite on their computer, the MSDN version of Expression Studio will not ask for a license/product key?

  19. consumer4beta@hotmail.com says:

    Also, will there be an SDK for v2, esp Design, Blend and Web.

  20. John says:

    I see the Expression Media supports CD/DVD writing of catalogs and collections.  Will there be support for BD format as well?

  21. Kevin Bier says:

    Hi, John,

    I’m on the Expression Media team.  Please drop me a note about your BD format question.  I’d appreciate the chance to ask a question or two about your question so I can answer a bit better.  🙂



  22. Kevin Bier says:

    Oops!  kevin.bier@microsoft.com

  23. [原文地址]: Expression Studio 2 RTMs today! [原文发表时间]:Thursday, May 01, 2008 11:01 AM 去 年 , Microsoft Expression

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