You may recall the furor (, ) over Microsoft’s decision not to make the new Expression family of design tools available to members of the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) based on the not always obvious distinction between “designers” and “developers.” Today, S. Somasegar (Microsoft Developer Division Corporate VP) revealed that Microsoft has taken the adverse reaction to heart and that some of the Expression tools will now be made available to some MSDN subscribers:
Based on this feedback, I am pleased to say that we will be making Expression Web available starting today to all MSDN Premium subscribers. We will also make Expression Blend available to MSDN Premium subscribers shortly after the Expression Studio release later in Q2 2007. Expression Blend and Expression Web are intended to help creative professionals collaborate with developers to create rich user experiences for the Web, Windows Vista applications and beyond, which means we need to make sure both tools are readily available to our developer community.
The decision extends to all MSDN Premium subscribers, including those with Visual Studio Professional and Visual Studio Team Edition’s. For customers that have premium subscriptions to Visual Studio Team Suite, we will be making the entire Expression Studio available to them.
You may be asking, what about Expression Design and Expression Media? Expression Blend and Expression Web are both designed to help creative professionals and developers work together to create rich user experiences for the Web, Windows Vista applications and beyond. As Expression Design and Expression Media are not directly intended for application development, we feel they fall outside the current scope of MSDN Subscriptions. We will be watching usage and collecting feedback of these expression products to help make further decisions in the future.
If it’s not entirely clear which level of MSDN subscription gets what, Joe Wilcox provides a nice chart.