What an exciting few days!! We announced the future of Expression on Monday and we’ve gotten overwhelming support & kudos from industry observers. Customers love the products – Expression Web and the previews of the other Expression products. Analysts and press are happy with what they’ve seen and they think our pricing and licensing terms are fair. For us, we’ve launched the first of a suite of tools in a new market segment – the designer market – and we’re being recognized for the value that we’re bringing to the marketplace. All in all, a great success – we’re overwhelmed by all the positive energy around our announcements over the last few days. Too bad I worked myself into a devastating head cold in the process.
Anyhow, Expression really is a new and distinctive business for us. For us, this is a new long-term commitment to designers. It’s a commitment we take seriously – we will continue to innovate and improve our new designer tools & platforms. We’ll make it easier for designers and developers to collaborate. To us, there is no question that user experience is a key differentiator for businesses and that designers are the key to realizing that need. Our goal is to make you more productive and leverage your creative talents in new and exciting ways in a world that demands superior UX.
A few people have commented to me privately that they would like us to include Expression Web in MSDN subscriptions. First, let me say that I’m thrilled that developers want to use Expression Web. Designers and developers alike are interested in playing with Expression Web -- that couldn’t be better as far as we’re concerned. After talking with a wide variety of customers and analysts over several years time, we decided to include Sharepoint Designer in MSDN subscriptions because it most closely matches the needs of MSDN subscribers. It has much of the same functionality as Expression Web, but also includes features for customizing and creating Sharepoint sites. As a result of the transition, MSDN subscribers will get Microsoft’s latest web development product with a richer feature set than FrontPage. I think you’ll be happy with the features of Sharepoint Designer. Sharepoint Designer is a much better fit for a variety of development and inter-office scenarios. It isn’t just me telling you this – when we were considering this decision, customers and analysts we spoke with gave us resounding feedback that this was the best thing to do for our customers. So try it out!
If for some reason, you don’t think it fits your needs, you are eligible to buy the upgrade of Expression Web.
Hope this clears things up – I’d love to know what you think!