Expression Blend and Expression Web will be available to MSDN premium subscribers

Microsoft announced today that two programs from Expression Studio, Web and Blend, will be available to MSDN premium subscribers. It means that the already strong Microsoft developer community now has tools to give their designers for building good experiences without having to pay extra.

Expression Blend

Microsoft announced today that two programs from Expression Studio, Web and Blend, will be available to MSDN premium subscribers. Originally, Microsoft had decided not to include any Expression products with MSDN because they felt that the design-focused Expression tools didn't belong in the developer program.

Luckily, Microsoft listened to their customers, and they got a lot of feedback about the decision, so they decided to include the two most developer centric items, Web and Blend, into the premium program. I thought it was a very odd decision not to include Expression tools right off the bat, especially because Microsoft is trying to break into the designer market. The more design focused tools (Expression Designer and Expression Media) still won't be included, but Web and Blend both offer something for developers and go a long way towards linking designers and developers together.

The entire Expression Studio retails for $599 while Expression Blend is available for $499 standalone and Expression Web is $299 standalone. I think those price points are fine, but I do think that by rewarding the people willing to pay for an MSDN premium subscription, you'll generate some buzz and get people using the products more quickly. Good move by Microsoft. Forest Key and Soma, both from Microsoft, have more information. May Jo here at ZDNet also weighs in.