On Wednesday, Microsoft Corp. reinforced its commitment to cross-platform developer experiences by open sourcing the full server-side .NET stack and expanding .NET to run on the Linux and Mac OS platforms. Microsoft also released Visual Studio Community 2013, a new free edition of Visual Studio that provides easy access to the Visual Studio core toolset. The announcements kicked off Microsoft’s Connect (); event, where the company released Visual Studio 2015 Preview and .NET 2015 Preview.
Delivering on its promise to support cross-platform development, Microsoft is providing the full .NET server stack in open source, including ASP.NET, the .NET compiler, the .NET Core Runtime, Framework and Libraries, enabling developers to build with .NET across Windows, Mac or Linux. Through this implementation, Microsoft will work closely with the open source community, taking contributions for future improvements to .NET and will work through the .NET Foundation.
Available Wednesday, Visual Studio Community 2013 is a free, fully featured edition of Visual Studio including full extensibility. Targeting any platform, from devices and desktop, to Web and cloud services, the community edition provides developers with easy access to Microsoft’s Visual Studio toolset for all nonenterprise application development. Developers can get started with Visual Studio Community 2013 here.
Built from the ground up with support for iOS, Android and Windows, Visual Studio 2015 Preview makes it easier for developers to build applications and services for any device, on any platform.
Microsoft on Wednesday announced the preview of ASP.NET 5.0, a streamlined framework and runtime optimized for cloud and server workloads. In addition, the new Connected Services Manager in Visual Studio 2015 makes it easier to connect applications to line-of-business API services such as the Office 365 API and SalesForce, among others.
Building on a year of service enhancements, Microsoft announced additional capabilities for Visual Studio Online, its online service for development projects, by announcing additional capabilities for the service, including these:
Release Management as a service, available in preview, to enable customers to automate and manage application releases without the need to set up or maintain any service infrastructure.
Cloud Deployment Projects, to allow organizations to more easily and reliably provision and configure development, test and production environments in Azure.
Also on Wednesday, Microsoft announced the availability of Visual Studio 2013 Update 4…
Bob Muglia, the president of Microsoft’s Server and Tools business is out and it looks like he has been pushed:
Bob Muglia, head of servers and tools, is leaving Microsoft this summer.
In a memo to employees, Steve Ballmer says he’s conducting a search internally and externally for a replacement.
He also says, "I have decided that now is the time to put new leadership in place for STB," which makes it seem like he’s tossing Muglia.
Server and tools is Microsoft’s third biggest businesses. It generated $4 billion in revenue last quarter.
Click through for the full text of Ballmer’s memo but here’s the pertinent clip:
The best time to think about change is when you are in a position of strength, and that’s where we are today with STB – leading the server business, successful with our developer tools, and poised to lead the rapidly emerging cloud future. Bob Muglia and I have been talking about the overall business and what is needed to accelerate our growth. In this context, I have decided that now is the time to put new leadership in place for STB. This is simply recognition that all businesses go through cycles and need new and different talent to manage through those cycles. Bob has been a phenomenal partner throughout this process, and he and his leadership team have the right strategy in place.
In conjunction with this leadership change, Bob has decided to leave Microsoft this summer.
Sounds like he was definitely pushed. I have often said that Server and Tools gets no respect at Microsoft while it has built success after success in a much more competitive environment than that facing the other Microsoft cash cows of Windows (client) and Office and this is apparently just more of the same. One surely has to wonder what Ballmer is thinking since there are numerous other areas in Microsoft that could really use a shakeup. Anyhow, Muglia gets to run the operation until a new leader is found and then bring him/her onboard before departing.
Microsoft today released Expression Studio 4, the latest version of their Web development tooling brought up to date with support for Silverlight 4, .Net Framework 4 and Visual Studio 2010 and the expected variety of feature enhancements. However, what is missing is the promised support for Windows Phone 7 development:
Microsoft is providing a timeline for when it will add Windows Phone 7 support to Expression Studio 4. Here’s a statement from a spokesperson:
“We will ship a service pack for Expression Studio 4 within the next few weeks that will include Windows Phone 7 support. Developers can now get a beta of the design tools targeted at development for Windows Phone 7, which include a free version of Expression Blend as part of the Windows Phone 7 SDK. The final version of the Windows Phone 7 SDK will be made available to developers well before the general availability of Windows Phone 7 devices in market, to ensure adequate time for development.”
And as a matter of fact, wannabe Windows Phone 7 developers should not even install the released version of Expression Studio 4. Not the best start for a new and seemingly critical release to regain Microsoft’s lost smartphone momentum.
Microsoft also took the opportunity to condense the four different packages available for Expression Studio 3 into only three for Expression Studio 4:
Q: What products are included in the Microsoft Expression Studio 4 Ultimate?
A: Expression Studio 4 Ultimate is comprised of 4 products, Expression Web 4, Microsoft Expression Blend® 4 + SketchFlow, Expression Encoder 4 Pro and Expression Design 4. Expression Blend 4 includes SketchFlow in Expression Studio 4 Ultimate product only.
Q: What products are included in the Microsoft Expression Studio 4 Premium?
A: Expression Studio 4 Premium is comprised of 4 products, Expression Web 4, Microsoft Expression Blend 4, Expression Encoder 4 and Expression Design 4. Expression Studio 4 Premium is not available for retail purchase.
Q: What products are included in the Microsoft Expression Studio 4 Web Professional?
A: Expression Studio 4 Web Professional is comprised of 3 products, Expression Web 4, Expression Encoder 4 and Expression Design 4.
Along the way however, they restricted the highly regarded SketchFlow design tool to only the high dollar Ultimate subscription. Previous users of Expression Blend 3 plus SketchFlow are understandably cranky, particularly as the change came without warning.
Today, Microsoft announced that it has sold Expression Media (a member of its Expression Studio family of Web tools) to Phase One, a Danish company that bills themselves as "the world’s leader in open-platform based medium format camera systems and solutions."
Microsoft Corp. and Phase One A/S, a leader in digital photography, are announcing that Phase One acquired the Microsoft Expression Media product. This agreement is built on an existing strategic alliance between the companies forged in 2007 to improve digital imaging solutions for professional and enthusiast photographers.
Expression Media is a leading digital asset management application used to catalog and organize photos, video and music for effortless retrieval, presentation and sharing. Expression Media will join Phase One’s product lineup, which includes open-platform-based, medium-format camera systems able to render up to 60.5 megapixel resolution, and Capture One raw-conversion and image-editing software, which supports more than 170 different file formats and provides superior image quality with excellent color and detail. Phase One products are used by some of the world’s leading photographers.
Under the terms of the agreement, Phase One takes full ownership of the Expression Media product. To ensure a smooth transition for Expression Media customers, Microsoft will continue to provide support to retail customers for 90 days. Phase One will begin offering support for the Expression Media product after the 90-day transition period. Microsoft customers who are currently using Expression Media under an Enterprise Agreement will continue to receive support from Microsoft through the term of their agreements. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Expression Media was formerly iViewe MediaPro which Microsoft obtained when it acquired iView Multimedia in 2006. Chalk this one up as another acquisition that did not pan out for Microsoft. I expect that multimedia asset management was rather too specialized a niche for Microsoft’s developer customers – even the "creative professionals" that the Expression Studio family targets.