Microsoft is quietly closing the door on its Expressions family of commercial software development tools. The Expression brand was used mainly to help develop websites and some Windows applications. It is a fairly recent software brand for Microsoft as it was first announced in 2005 with the first product, Microsoft Expression Studio, released in 2007.
Today, the Microsoft Expression website announced that Expression Studio 4 Ultimate and Expression Studio 4 Web Professional will no longer be sold, although people who have previously purchased the software will have their mainstream support end in 2015; extended support ends on 2020. Expression Design 4 and Expression Web 4 are now available as a free download, but with no technical support. Expression Encoder 4 Pro will continue to be sold through the year 2013.
Expression Blend will be merged with Microsoft's Visual Studio 2012. Microsoft states:
Blend for Visual Studio 2012 provides a rich design-centric environment for building Windows Store apps and Windows Phone apps. In addition to that, WPF, Silverlight and SketchFlow support is available today as a preview and will be released in Visual Studio 2012 Update 2.
Basically, it sound like Microsoft had two web and applications software creation brands and the company felt that it needed just one. Visual Studio has been around since 1995 and is perhaps better known than the Expressions brand.