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Get Ready for Expression Studio 4

If you are like me, you may be planning to spend most of next week in New Orleans, where Microsoft is holding its Tech Ed North America 2010 conference and co-located Business Intelligence Conference 2010. But you may want to pay attention to what's going on in New York, where Microsoft on Monday June 7 is kicking off the official launch of Microsoft Expression Studio 4.

Expression Studio is Microsoft's XAML-based, application and Web design suite. The suite consists of four modules:

  • Expression Web: Web site designer and HTML editor
  • Expression Blend: Visual UI builder for XAML-based WPF and Silverlight apps. This includes the SketchFlow app prototyping module
  • Expression Design: Raster and vector graphics editor
  • Expression Encoder: Digital video encoder

For Visual Studio developers, Expression Blend could be a compelling concept. It aims to bridge the chasm between developers slinging code in Visual Studio and designers working with static images of proposed application user interfaces in Adobe Illustrator. By offering an interactive, visual front-end to working XAML code, Expression Blend enables rich prototyping and more effective UI design and iteration.

We'll be reporting more details on Monday about Expression Studio 4. In the meantime, I'd love to hear from you. Has your dev shop looked at Expression Studio (and in particular, Expression Blend)? What are your impressions of the tool and what are you hoping to see with the Expression Studio 4 launch next week?

Posted by Michael Desmond on 06/04/2010

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