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January 24, 2006

Microsoft launches Expression Acrylic and Sparkle CTPs

Posted by David Hunter at 8:47 AM ET.

Microsoft formally unveiled the Expression family of design tools at last September’s Professional Developers Conference and late yesterday released Community Technology Previews of two of them: Microsoft Expression Interactive Designer (“Sparkle”) and Expression Graphic Designer “Acrylic”). There was no word on Expression Web Designer (“Quartz”).

If, at first glance, all of these products seem confusing, the new Expression Team Blog puts them in their place:

Microsoft Expression is a suite consisting of three products each intended for use mainly by the professional designer community. Expression Graphic Designer [Acrylic - ed.] is a visual arts package equally at home with vector or with bitmap graphics. Expression Interactive Designer [Sparkle - ed.] gives interaction designers the environment in which to build Windows applications for the Windows Presentation Foundation platform – in other words, to build the new Vista-wave generation of Windows user experiences. Expression Web Designer [Quartz - ed.] is the product which offers all the tools you’ll need to produce high-quality, standards-based Web sites.

For lots more information, videos and downloads about Expression, please see the Microsoft Expression product website.

They are all based on the Windows Presentation Framework (“Avalon”) coming in WinFX with Vista and to be available for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 as well. Finally, note that there is a separate design tool for developers codenamed “Cider” coming in the future “Orcas” release of Visual Studio.

Filed under Beta and CTP, Cider, Expression Blend, Expression Design, Expression Studio, Expression Web, Technologies, Tools, Visual Studio 2008, WPF, WinFX

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One Response to “Microsoft launches Expression Acrylic and Sparkle CTPs”

  1. Microsoft News Tracker » Office 12 christened Office 2007 as Office gets a makeover Says:

    [...] FrontPage is replaced by Microsoft Office SharePoint Designer 2007 and Microsoft Expression Web Designer which are both said to be based on FrontPage technologies. SharePoint Designer is new and we have previously discussed the Expression products here. I won’t wax nostalgic about the history of FrontPage except to say that I always found it a useful web site file manager and WYSIWYG HTML editor despite its quirks and the disdain of geeks who like to program close to the metal. Even today, most non-Microsoft web hosting packages offer FrontPage support which reflects its popularity and how it managed to retain its cross platform heritage over the years. We’ll have to see how the new tools work out, but my prejudice is against SharePoint for anything except intranet use in an all Microsoft shop, so I expect that my general preference would be Web Designer. [...]

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