Catching up on an item from last week – Expression Design Beta 1 and Blend Beta 2 Available:
Yey – I know several of our ISVs have been waiting patiently for these downloads. I just need to find a day to try them both out! You can beat me to it by downloading them from http://microsoft.com/expression.
eWEEK’s Darryl K. Taft interviews Forest Key, director of product management for Microsoft’s design tools, and InfoWorld’s Paul Krill interviews Eric Zocher, general manager of the Microsoft Expression product line, to provide the big picture, but the nut is that the Expression family is Microsoft’s new foray into tools for designers as opposed to all the existing tools for developers. The Expression products utilize Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF, codenamed Avalon), Windows Presentation Foundation Everywhere (WPF/E, aka “Flash Killer” which also has a new CTP) and XAML to create the design elements for rich content Web and desktop applications.
Of course, a persistent side issue of the invidious distinction between designer and developer tools is the fact that the Expression tools are not being made available to developers through the Microsoft Developers Network (MSDN). As long as Microsoft is going to erect barriers between the two, they might as well also create a “Microsoft Designers Network” although they better use a little of that artistic creativity to avoid conflicting acronyms.