Blend will still be a stand-alone tool, drops "Expression" name

On Thursday, Microsoft announced that it was closing the books on its Expression family of software development tools. One of the products that was affected by this move was Expression Blend, which Microsoft said would be merged inside Visual Studio 2012.

Today, Microsoft changed its tune slightly, as it edited its original statement concerning the fate of Expression Blend. It now says: "Blend will continue to ship as a standalone tool with Visual Studio 2012, as part of a consolidated designer/developer offering." However, the statement still confirms the death of the Expression brand.

So while the Blend software will still technically still be around, it will only be offered as part of the Visual Studio 2012 package and it won't use the Expression brand anymore.

As we previously reported, Expression Studio 4 Ultimate and Expression Studio 4 Web Professional will no longer be sold. Expression Design 4 and Expression Web 4 are now available as a free download, but Microsoft will not be offering any technical support for those products.

The only member of the Expression family that will continue to be sold as a stand alone product, at least for now, is Expression Encoder 4 Pro. However, Microsoft will only sell the software until the end of 2013. The company has already said they won't be developing any more versions of the product, as it will concentrate on its Windows Azure software for "encoding, format conversion, and live on-demand streaming."

Source: Microsoft | Image via Microsoft

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I don't think MS have changed their tune with Blend. It's always been included with Visual Studio 2012 and i think thats always been Microsofts intention, to integrate things more. They're just making it clear that they don't plan to kill off Blend because some sites/people seemed to think that.

Well if the current version of Blend (ie the one with VS2012) is any indication of the future, then they've already killed it because it's missing the ability to do WPF apps.

brianshapiro said,
What about a version of Design to make vectors & shapes to use in Blend

Design isn't included with VS 2012. But VS/Blend now support importing content from a wider range of graphical tools/software.

And as for Expression Web, thats been replaced with added functionality to VS 2012, as much of the website/web app stuff you could do within Web you can now do within VS.

SharpGreen said,
Well if the current version of Blend (ie the one with VS2012) is any indication of the future, then they've already killed it because it's missing the ability to do WPF apps.

Didn't they announce that that stuff will be in Update 2 of VS2012?