Microsoft Expression Launch Event

I'm presuming that almost everyone who follows this blog has at least one of the Expression design tools on their machine; Expression Blend (formeddrly known as "Sparkle" or Expression Interactive Designer) is an essential part of the arsenal for any WPF developer; Expression Design is a capable graphics tool that can output XAML in either WPF or "WPF/E" dialects; Expression Web is a very worthy web development product for creating standards-compliant markup, and lastly Expression Media combines digital asset management (image and media cataloging and workflow) with media encoding tools.

We've just announced the coming out party in the United States for the tool suite, with events in San Francisco, Chicago and New York during the latter half of January. If you're in or nearby any of these cities, you can register to attend some designer-focused sessions, meet up with a bunch of us and even attend a cool cocktail party. Full details and event registration can be found at the website.

If you're not conveniently placed for these sessions, remember that we have our inaugural WPF online chat taking place this Thursday at 12:30pm Pacific; details in the preceding post.

Comments (11)

  1. Anonymous says:

    Personally, I’d be a lot more enthused if I thought that I’d eventually get to see the Expression stuff show up on MSDN Subscriber downloads. So thanks, but I’ll pass (although the cocktail party sounds fun).

  2. Anonymous says:

    I’d love to have a copy on my machine – as I did throughout the open beta and CTPs.

    Unfortunately I’m a developer (with an expensive MSDN subscription), and I’ve been told by the Expression team that I don’t do any design work.  You’ve also let me know I thought that not including these products was the best idea.  

    So no, I won’t have a copy.    Unfortunately this means we’ll probably create our next few UIs without WPF, since the tool support isn’t there yet.  That means web, which I suppose is good since the client can be any OS.

    So, kudos to the expression development team for a great suite of products (really! they are quite excellent).  And "boo" to the people determined to screw over the developers and enthusiasts that make your platforms such a success.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Ditto for me, it looks like I won’t be using them. I learned about the Expression products through my MSDN newsletters, and I read about the products on many developer blogs, but Microsoft decided programmers (many experts in UI <b>design</b>) are not designers.


  4. Anonymous says:

    The funniest thing happened just yesterday.. An unnamed Microsoft exec contacted me and asked what he would have to do to get the MSDN subscriptions logos and links added to my site I asked him why he would want to do such a thing when MS has no plans to add the Blend product to MSDN subscriber downloads so why would my members want to buy it? His response was that he wasn’t aware that it Blend wouldn’t be included with the MSDN subscriber downloads and his first thoughts were that it was absolute stupidity….

    I would say the MS has cut out at least half its enterprise development opportunities with this clearly ill-thought out decision, not to mention the little guys out there who just won’t buy it at the prices being quoted.

    I will be hosting a poll on this very subject within the next few weeks… it will be interesting to see the results won’t it.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I guess I’ll have to go out an hire a designer since using "Expression" is not in my job description.

    Hopefully, in 2007 MS will introduce a new subscription suite that costs significantly more money and includes everything… 20-30K should cover it right?

    That will be peanuts when compared to the overhead of my new design team 🙂

  6. Anonymous says:

    I wouldnt be surprised to hear of any litigation against Microsoft for not including the Expression Web tools as part of the MSDN subscription.  There are those of us who predominantly use our MSDN subscriptions for web development and who need to complement back-end connectivity and web control layout with robust front-end tools, especially those that support XAML and the very technologies that give Microsoft the lead over other development environments.  It’s quite an investment to fork out for Visual Studio with MSDN to not get the Expression toolset.  It is a development tool and that’s why I purchased MSDN.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I have primarily been a Java developer but have also been learning Microsoft technologies primarily because of its strength on the Client/Presentation side. I really think Microsoft is strong on UIs (along with Apple). Anyway, after buying a very expensive MSDN w/ Visual Studio Team Suite subscription, I just cant believe that a tool like Expression which is very much a tool for creating a good interface (development+design) is not being offered as part of the subscription.

    I really hope the managers responsible can reverse this decision.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Yep, in 2005 Microsoft told us that developers didn’t do web or performance tests nor application design, so my universal subscription that would be upgraded to developer edition wouldn’t cover all these tools. I then forked out the money for a Team Suite subscription and was a happy bunny with a hole in my pocket.

    Now Microsoft comes to me again and tell me that I don’t do UI design/development, so Expression won’t be available on my already very expensive MSDN subscription…

    Next time I sign a contract with a client I will come to Microsoft first and ask them what is that that I do so I can define its scope and hire the other people to cover the things that Microsoft say that I don’t do.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I think I am receiving mixed messages from MS. On Channel 9 The MicroISV Show tells me that MS is very concerned about very small companies. On the other hand, it is difficult to see how the pricing of their packages encourages MicroISV’s.

    I would have expected MS to realise that the more tools a developer has at his disposal the more productive he will be. For WPF development I mainly use VS with Orcas. From time to time (several times a week) using blend saves me a lot of time than doing the same thing in VS. However, if after buying all the MS tools I cannot afford to provide food for my family, then my productivity will probably go down.

    What I would be interested in seeing (and buying) is an MSDN package specially equiped and priced for MicroISV’s. I don’t need Team Suite to manage a team of developers, but what would help me is that the bundle should include at least the following:

    – VS

    – Unit and performance testing utilities for VS

    – Full XML/XSLT editor support

    – All Expression products

    – MS Office

    – VS Tools for Office

    – All operating systems

    – MSDN library

    – Virtual PC

    – Visio

    – Source code control

    – SQL Server

    I have looked around MSDN for a package like that with a price appropriate for a MicroISV, but I cannot find it. Also, I am living in a country where peoples’ income is considerably lower than that in the US. Is my situation so unusual that what I am asking for would be considered unreasonable?

  10. says:

    i wonder if ms expression is available to a different msdn subscription (say "team suite" or whatever) or "not included" period.  if it is not included in any msdn subscriptions, i say this marketing strategy is very lame.

  11. NothingButNet1 says:

    As a developer who is also a designer and dissappointed over the lack of Expression products in my MSDN Subscription, I found the following quotes of interest:

    Excerpts from an article on

    Article URL:

    Article Title:

    Microsoft Expression to Blend Coding and Design Worlds  Will the eXtensible Markup Language finally bridge the dev-design gap?

    Article Author: Stuart J. Johnston


    "There is no hard line between a Windows application and a Web application, and there is no hard line between developers and designers," says Forest Key, director of Web and client user experience (UX) platform marketing for Microsoft’s Developer Division.

    "Microsoft is bringing [the two roles] together and blurring the lines [because] the kind of applications coming in the future will require that to happen," explains Bola Rotibi, principal analyst for application lifecycle at researcher Ovum in London. "Graphical is just one aspect of ‘experience’ … pretty much anybody talking about business-aligned IT should be talking about user experience and it requires different roles in order to generate that experience."

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