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March 28, 2006

Microsoft sets a date for Expression tools, unveils WPF/E

Posted by David Hunter at 8:13 AM ET.

When last we heard, Microsoft had paused development on Expression Graphic Designer (Acrylic) and Expression Web Designer (Quartz) was AWOL. Now, Martin LaMonica reports at CNET that Microsoft says that these two plus their sibling Expression Interactive Designer (”Sparkle”) will be available 60-90 days after Vista. That’s probably the soonest since they depend on the Windows Presentation Foundation (Avalon) display technologies which will finally be solidified with Vista. Microsoft also promises a CTP of Quartz in June.

Speaking of WPF, at last week’s Mix06 conference Microsoft unveiled Windows Presentation Foundation Everywhere (WPF/E) which is popularly billed as a “Flash Killer.” Elizabeth Montalbano at InfoWorld:

WPF/E lets graphics created for Windows Vista applications run on other OSes as well as on the Web, said Forest Key, a director of developer tools product management for Microsoft.

Key described WPF/E as a run time for reusing rich graphic elements built specifically for a Windows Vista application. At the core of the technology is XAML (Extensible Application Markup Language), Microsoft’s language for creating graphical presentation elements in Windows Presentation Foundation, the next-generation GUI framework for Windows Vista.

WPF/E can be used in two different ways. Developers can use it to embed XAML code for graphics in an application so it can run on another platform, for example, the Macintosh, Key said. Then there are WPF/E plug-ins for browsers, which can be downloaded when a WPF/E-enabled applications pops up on the Web. The plug-ins will allow those XAML-based graphics to be rendered in various browsers, he said.

Microsoft will release the first Community Technology Preview (CTP) of WPF/E in the third quarter. In the first half of next year, it will release WPF/E plug-ins that will allow graphics built for Windows to run on browsers, including Apple Computer’s Safari, Mozilla’s Firefox, and Microsoft’s own Internet Explorer.

Microsoft bills WPF/E as a more flexible alternative to Adobe Systems’ Macromedia Flash, which also is both a developer technology for building multimedia content and a plug-in that can be downloaded to allow rich graphics to run on the Web.

Since Flash has a huge head start, I doubt WPF/E “kills” it any time soon. It’s just another plug-in to add to your browser.

Filed under Adobe, Beta and CTP, Conferences, Coopetition, Expression Blend, Expression Design, Expression Studio, Expression Web, MIX06, Microsoft, OS - Client, Silverlight, Technologies, Tools, WPF, Windows Vista, XAML

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5 Responses to “Microsoft sets a date for Expression tools, unveils WPF/E”

  1. Microsoft’s Quartz beta finally arrives -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] The laggard beta of Microsoft’s Expression Web Designer (codenamed Quartz) has finally been released according to Microsoft Developer VP, S. “Soma” Somasegar: The Expression team has reached an important milestone in this context and has delivered the first Community Technology Preview of Expression Web Designer (EWD). [...]

  2. Microsoft announces Expression Studio tools -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] WPF/E has been described as a “Flash Killer,” but it has its work cut out for it combating Adobe’s ubiquitous product. As a whole, Expression Studio is a competitor to Adobe’s CreativeSuite and similar Web designer tools. That categorization is apparently important to Microsoft since Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) subscribers won’t get Expression because it is not for developers, but designers. Filed under Coopetition, Tools, Expression Design, Beta and CTP, Expression Blend, Expression Web, Expression Studio, Adobe, Microsoft, MSDN, Expression Media [...]

  3. Microsoft releases Expression, WPF/E betas -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] 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. [...]

  4. Adobe alphas Apollo - Web apps on the desktop -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] So how does Microsoft play? Good question since while Microsoft is willing to support spiffier Web apps with AJAX and the WPF/E “Flash killer,” they love the mantra that Web apps can’t really compare to desktop applications like Office where they make lots of money. Filed under Coopetition, Technologies, AJAX, Adobe, Microsoft, WPF/E [...]

  5. Microsoft christens Flash killer as “Silverlight” -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] Microsoft has launched its WPF/E “Flash Killer,” first announced a year ago, complete with a jazzy new moniker: April 15, 2007 — Today at the 2007 National Association of Broadcasters conference (NAB2007), Microsoft Corp. unveiled Microsoft® Silverlight™, a new cross-browser, cross-platform plug-in for delivering the next generation of media experiences and rich interactive applications (RIAs) for the Web. Early supporters of the new platform include Akamai Technologies Inc., Brightcove Inc., Eyeblaster Inc., Limelight Networks, Major League Baseball and Netflix Inc. [...]

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