Microsoft shuts down Expression software brand

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.

Source: Microsoft | Image via Microsoft
Via: Microsoft-News.com

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This sucks. The "Blend" thats in VS lacks well over half the features of actual blend. Also its not "Expressions". There's only 2 S's....not 3.

SharpGreen said,
This sucks. The "Blend" thats in VS lacks well over half the features of actual blend. Also its not "Expressions". There's only 2 S's....not 3.

I'm sure their goal is to fully integrate it into VS. The've only begun doing so, and according to this article, they have a lot planned for update 2 of VS...

I agree. Blend in Visual Studio sucks. It lacks features and is terribly slow. When I develop I use Visual Studio for code behind and Blend for XAML. Both work perfect that way. Blend is so much faster at loading XAML and working with it too. I really hope they get the complete Blend features into Visual Studio otherwise it is only a half baked product that will do nothing but bloat Visual Studio which we do not need.


By the way here is a tip. If you do open XAML in Visual Studio it is more likely to edit the file by hand and VS is slow. You can speed up the load time of the file by:

1. Right clicking on the XAML file and select open with.
2. Select "Source Code (Text) Editor (Default)
3. Hit the Set as Default button.

Your XAML will open in VS without the designer and a lot faster. This is saved in the projects user settings so you have to do this for every solution and if the user settings has been deleted or not set.

I got it free from MSDNAA and I found Expression Design to be quite fun. Was a bit unstable and had some bugs but still got the job done.

SpyderCanopus said,
What ever happened to Frontpage? That was a super quick tool for making simple webpages.

Loved FrontPage, but it was superseded by SharePoint Design and Expression Web in 2006.

RommelS said,

Loved FrontPage, but it was superseded by SharePoint Design and Expression Web in 2006.

Not to nitpick, but Frontpage actually became Sharepoint Designer, not really superseding it. The powers that be took Frontpage, rebranded it, and then added Sharepoint tools to it and over the years it really became a tool specifically for Sharepoint instead of just web editing. Personally I think Expression Web was created to fill in that gap when Frontpage turned into SP Designer and tried to become the new Frontpage.

I too was a fan of Frontpage. I found the frontpage extensions, while very buggy at times, helped with publishing website.

DRock said,

Not to nitpick, but Frontpage actually became Sharepoint Designer, not really superseding it. The powers that be took Frontpage, rebranded it, and then added Sharepoint tools to it and over the years it really became a tool specifically for Sharepoint instead of just web editing. Personally I think Expression Web was created to fill in that gap when Frontpage turned into SP Designer and tried to become the new Frontpage.

I too was a fan of Frontpage. I found the frontpage extensions, while very buggy at times, helped with publishing website.

Thank you very much for proving my point.
However, you are rigth about Expression Web.

GOOD.

Merge those XAML tools back into VS. The entire separation was based on this idea that markup folks and codebehind folks wouldn't be the same people. And it was stupid.

for larger shops it is not the same person doing the design and the code. however I agree most devs do this anyways and yes having two tools was horrible. edit one and the other had to re-sync was never a good idea.

neonspark said,
for larger shops it is not the same person doing the design and the code. however I agree most devs do this anyways and yes having two tools was horrible. edit one and the other had to re-sync was never a good idea.

Absolutely.

So first they killed frontpage now expression web. So whats the tool to use now for creating websites? (except for dreamweaver )

Well with HTML5 baked into Expression Web 4, you'll still have that for another 3 years. Then after who needs support, continue using it.

visual studio handles that, although it is more of a tool to creating web apps than what you call "web sites". for dumb sites, the market is non existent with the invention of content management systems. there just isn't a market for static site creation any longer and whatever remains adobe owns.

Well I have been using it since it was frontpage but well I guess all things come to an end. I guess they are making visual studio the god developing app to control all languages.

I used to use expression design and web a lot back in college days but since then hardly ever touch any applications except office.

why blend had to be separate never made sense considering VS needed to be re-syncing when you were working on that thing constantly. this is a change for the best. I'm glad we don't have to buy yet another tool.

Although I haven't been an MSDN subscriber in years, I remember that developers had been bitching about Expression since it was introduced--nobody outside of MS could see a valid reason it wasn't included as part of the subscription.

Glad to see they finally came to their senses and rolling the functionality into VS. Kinda surprised it took them this long.

RIP Expression Design (like Photoshop and illustrator in one app) & Encoder (which could encode anything to anything and add branding different stream rates or encode for a specific device) I used these 2 apps almost daily

I use expression alot, front page before that. I'm ****ed off because VS costs so much. I paid for Expressions out of pocket because clients don't get it. Trying to get a client to help with the VS cost will be insain much less learning entire new programs.

I'm getting tired of MS solutions not being complete and thought out. We're always in a enternal hell of we'll get there then when we get close they shut down programs instead of making a perfect product then keeping up with tech changes.

Stop trying to reinvent and built from the ground up. I DON"T WANT FROM THE GROUND UP! I like the amazing foundation we'd built and think we should keep working from that foundation! W7 was almost a perfect product then they reinvented it all! Change is great but it must be the right change. Another great example is silverlight....

Adobe does the same. I love Macromedia's Fireworks but Adobe just sits on it. I'm lucky they haven't killed it off yet.

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