It's gone midnight Pacific time, so it's safe for me to write a post that I've been wanting to write for many months.
Microsoft Expression Interactive Designer (the product formerly known as "Sparkle") is finally available in the form of its first CTP! This build runs on the December 05 and January 06 CTPs. We finally have preview tools available for both developers ("Cider") and designers ("Sparkle") to start to build integrated application projects. We first showed Expression publicly at the PDC, and it was the most popular hands-on lab there. Here's a quick set of steps to show off one nice feature of Expression very quickly:
At any time you can check out the XAML code tab to see or edit the generated code. The projects that Expression creates are standard MSBuild .proj files, so you can simply double-click on one to open it in Visual Studio and do additional work with it.
Experiment and have fun! Just two points to remember:
Expression Interactive Designer is just one of a suite of design tools that we're working on right now. Expression Graphic Designer is a companion tool that enables creation of vector graphics. Once you're done, simply choose File / Export to XAML to create a XAML rendering that can be imported directly into Expression Interactive Designer or any other WPF project.
Lastly, here are a few additional resources to check out:
[Update: Note that this build Expression Interactive Designer does not execute successfully on 64-bit editions of Windows. There are also some issues on non-Pentium architectures - please check the notes on the download page before installing.]
MS re-org: This link goes to a CNET story about Microsoft getting out of the online music store biz... the Sept04 press release doesn't mention the project targeted at the existing audience of Apple's iTunes Music store, but that's what many pundits believed