The powers that be at Microsoft – “Soma” Somasegar, corporate vice-president of Microsoft’s Developer Division – have heard the word from developers and relented yesterday from their bone-headed position that Expression Blend is too cool a tool for codemonkeys:
“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….

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.” (link)(mainstream story)

Bottom line: If you’re going to do WPF, you need Expression Web as much as you need Visual Studio. Microsoft woke up to the fact that WPF is perhaps their last, great hope to win back an entire generation of developers who think the desktop is dead before Adobe sews them up.
When people like Scott Hanselman and Carl Franklin and others said treating Web Expression as a non-programmer tool was the dumbest idea since Microsoft Bob, and they said it on their blogs and podcasts, and Microsoft bloggers heard it on their blogs and podcasts, Microsoft had no choice but to listen.
Of course, Microsoft still needs whacking around the head convincing that Expression Web (the web standards html editor [my mistake, now available to MSDN subscribers- thanks Charlie!] and Expression Design (the tool for making pretty WPF things) need to be brought home to MSDN as well. They still think all developers live in the enterprise world where the codemonkeys live in one building and the artiste’s live in another. Do they really think any IT shop of < 20 people has an actual designer fulltime, let alone us in the micro-ISV world?
Still, progress is progress, Soma gets a +1 and maybe the codemonkeys can start riding in the front of the bus as they should.
[tags]Expression Blend[/tags]

3 Comments

  1. “Of course, Microsoft still needs whacking around the head convincing that Expression Web (the web standards html editor and Expression Design (the tool for making pretty WPF things) need to be brought home to MSDN as well.”
    According to Soma’s statement, Expression Web is available as of today.

  2. bobw Reply

    Franklin – thanks for the pointer – it’s fixed now.

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