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.