About-face: Microsoft to make Expression Web, Blend available on MSDN

About-face: Microsoft to make Expression Web, Blend available on MSDN

Summary: Microsoft has done an about-face. The company has decided to make its Expression Web tool available starting on April 3 as part of the company's MSDN Premium subscription and will add Expression Blend to the MSDN Premium check-list once that product becomes available (expected in a couple of weeks).

TOPICS: Microsoft

Are developers designers? Are designers developers? And who is Microsoft (or any software vendor) to decide?

After getting an earful from the Microsoft programming community over its decision not to make its Expression tools available to Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) subscribers, Microsoft has done an about-face. The company is making Expression Web available starting on April 3 as part of the company's MSDN Premium subscription and will add Expression Blend to the MSDN Premium check-list once that product becomes available (expected in a couple of weeks).

Microsoft isn't planning to make Expression Design or Expression Media available as part of MSDN, however, company officials said.

"This is not a change in who these products are for," said Forest Key, director of product management for Microsoft's design tools. "It's ore about giving developers access to the tools" in case they want to see how they work and how they will dovetail with Visual Studio.

Robert McLaws, president of Interscape Technologies, was one of the first to draw attention publicly to Microsoft's original decision to bar Expression Web from MSDN.

"Whether Microsoft likes it or not, the unfortunate reality is that developers often have to be designers too. And now the 'Jack of all tradesmen' can have the right tools for the job," McLaws posted on April 3.

Topic: Microsoft


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Good

    I don't always have to design my own UI, but I usually do, and not having that as part of my MSDN subscription would annoy me greatly.

    Of course, I get it anyway (I work for Microsoft, and I can install mostly what I want), but that was not always the case, and not having it part of the MSDN Premium sub was kind of goofy.
    John Carroll
  • Its a bit of a pisser if you ask me

    One of the reasons I pay for MSDN (Universal) is so that I get ALL the tools I need to do my work. Microsoft trying to tell me who is or is not a developer/designer is a slap in the face.

    Look, I do not claim to be a great artist, but almost ANY developer needs to occasionaly do a bit of artwork regardless of it being an application, web site, or whatever. To short change thoise that PAY the big bucks for a Universal subscription is a real pisser.

    Attn MS: Is it your goal to drive developers to other (ompetitors) products??? By the way, if you think I am going to buy this after paying for a Universalk subscription to MSDN you are friggin nuts!!!
    • there is no "universal" MSDN subscription

      Looking at MSDN, I see three levels of subscription: Operating Systems, Professional, and Premium. "Universal" was an old subscription level, but it's gone now. You might want to see exactly which level you're subscribed to.

      Premium is rather expensive, but it does deliver a lot more tools and it just got better.

      I agree that "it's about time" to add Expression tools to MSDN. An awful lot of small-shop developers have to fill multiple roles. A one-person web job can include project management, usability, visual and interaction design, coding client and server sides, data modeling, testing, and training. We need good tools, and I can't see looking to Adobe to provide them for .NET developers.
      diane wilson
      • Yes, they cahnged the name

        Standard MS tactic of putting lip stick on a pig and calling it new.
  • It should be the whole lot of expression tools

    I have a premium visual studio professional subscription. They created around 8 new subscriptions just before VS 2005. 4 or 5 of them are team system related and starting at the top they have team suite (everything and too much $$ for me) team system for devs, team system for architects, for testers, for database programmers....and they are all w/MSDN premium. I have the one just below team, visual studio professional w/MSDN premium. So those all have the same MSDN premium content. There are few others like VS professional w/MSDN professional subscription and lastly MSDN operating systems. <br>
    Any w/MSDN premium include all office apps (frontpage), sharepoint designer etc. So I do not see why these tools would not automatically fit in the MSDN premium content.
    I truely do get upset and wonder if MS is even vaguely aware of what they are doing to their users and the level of frustration they are creating on what seems like a daily basis anymore. <br>
    Ballmer needs to go. I can't stand him. In his speech to grads at princeton or wherever it was he talked about MS just being better at "milking" their products. I don't think that is a good thing, is it? I mean, yes, a business should try to get as much value out of it's products, but not to the point it doesn't even notice competition (or seems not to), doesn't seem to care what it's users are saying, doesn't think it's touchable. The comments he made about Apple "could get away with a 'cute' add being so 'tiny'" and things like that blow me away. He must really think that Windows marketshare is untouchable to talk like that and to make the moves they've made with wga. The estimate how much they've lost due to piracy in the past. Well, Mr. Balmer. That was in the Past when Windows marketshare was probably not eroding. How much do you save from piracy if you pi** off your faithful and the not so faithful in the meantime and you start losing customers so fast your revenue falls below the point you thought anti piracy was taking you down to? and keeps right on tumbling? What then?
    Take away wga and say we're sorry? For God's sake do something and DO IT NOW!!!!!!!!!!!
    • Ballmer is like Bush and Cheney

      Ballmer is like Bush and Cheney - so out of touch with reality... sometimes I wonder
      what drugs they should be taking to see outside of the box...
      panic man
      • Imagine this

        he is WORSE!!! <br><br>
        Microsoft is the Titantic and if they don't reduce speed (in the direction they are heading) I'm afraid they are sunk.<br>
        They need a "captain" like Alchin at a high level that will refuse to run the ship as demanded, but somehow convince Gates that Ballmer must go now. They are so focused on making "land" in record time, they don't care about the passengers and crew that's working their tails off, going down with them!!! <br><br>
        If things don't change I will be forced to jump ship cause I'm not waiting around till the whole thing goes down.