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Microsoft Kills Expression Suite — And Makes It Free, For Now 89

mikejuk writes "Microsoft has announced that the Expression suite of design tools is no more. It has been removed from sale immediately and it has been placed on a maintenance only status until it reaches its end of life. Expression was Microsoft's offering for designers and competed directly with Adobe products. You can now download the components of Expression — Design 4, Web 4 and Encoder 4 — for free but you can't buy them. Of course, knowing that you are using 'doomed' products, even for free, takes some of the icing off the cake. The central component of the suite the UI designer Blend is to be integrated with Visual Studio 2012 probably along with Update 2. It looks as if Microsoft is giving up on trying to get designers to use its tools."
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Microsoft Kills Expression Suite — And Makes It Free, For Now

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  • by grungeman ( 590547 ) on Saturday December 22, 2012 @07:27AM (#42368207)
    When applying a gradient fill to an object it was not possible to adjust a gradient after applying. As a professional graphics designer I can say that a gradient never looks perfect the first time and always needs adjustment. Instead with Expression Design you had to apply the whole gradient again, hoping that this time it would look perfect (which never happened). This made the whole software the least productive tool ever for our job. We really tried, but Expression was simply unusable for us, I even suspect that the totally useless gradient tool is the reason why Microsoft developers decided to make the Windows 8 icons monochrome.
  • Re:Maybe (Score:5, Interesting)

    by kthreadd ( 1558445 ) on Saturday December 22, 2012 @07:29AM (#42368215)

    They should just open source it

    Possibly. They open sourced their F# compiler. It's not too uncommon for them.

  • by thoughtspace ( 1444717 ) on Saturday December 22, 2012 @08:03AM (#42368333)

    Used Expression suite to make a custom embedded system on a pretty large project. It was good to integrate photoshop files from the graphic designers and convert them to controls. The UI turns out looking really professional - none of those stock standard UI controls and all beautifully rendered.

    The main problem with the suite was that, in practice, the design flow is really one-way. If there was a change to the UI, you pretty much had to re-import the graphics, re-select the graphic items and group them into controls again.

    For the next product iteration, we went back to WPF mixed with Windows Forms for old or 3rd party controls.

  • Re:Badly named suite (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jkrise ( 535370 ) on Saturday December 22, 2012 @08:55AM (#42368449) Journal

    They should have called them Microsoft Design, Microsoft Blend, etc

    I call bullshit. It doesn't matter what Microsoft called it. Obviously after the success of eXPerience, they felt eXPression would be as successful as Windows XP. Vista was a good name, and many successful non-operating systems are branded by that name and do well. But in Microsoft's case, a more apt name would've been Shit-sta.

    The newest OSes are named 7 and 8 - totally un-imaginative names. While 7 has got a 'harmless' reputation, slowly getting mindshare away from XP unlike Vista, 8 has been very polarising in the market - with extreme feedback in both directions coming from the customers. Names or brands mean very little in the eventual success and adoption of a product. What matters more is performance, quality and reputation.

A consultant is a person who borrows your watch, tells you what time it is, pockets the watch, and sends you a bill for it.