Microsoft Expression Blend Beta 2 available for download

Beta 2 of Expression Blend, Microsoft's Interactive Designer, is now available for download. It looks like there are a number of changes that should add some polish over the Beta 1 version.

Microsoft Expression Blend Beta 2 available for download
On a last quick run-through of the feeds before I head to bed I noticed that Eric Lam has posted that Beta 2 of Expression Blend is now available. According to Eric there are a few changes in this version:

  • You can now instantiate resources from the Resources panel. For example, you can drag and drop a button style onto the artboard and create a button out of it instead of creating a button and applying it as a separate task.
  • You can see inner exceptions when an exception happens on the design surface, allowing you to see more details about the cause of an exception.
  • You now get font previews in the Text category of the Properties panel which makes it easier to choose your font.
  • After adding an event handler, the XAML file is now automatically saved for you.
  • Configuring value editors has been improved. For example, you'll find editing BitmapEffects or adding items to an ItemsControl such as ContextMenu are now much easier to do.

I love the idea of Blend as a product, because I think an interactive designer is a huge part of the designer-developer workflow, but Beta 1 of Blend just didn't seem quite there to me. I'll be downloading this tonight and playing with it this week so I can give my thoughts on the most recent version.