Adobe loyalists may decline the offers out of loyalty, but if I were a curious Web designer, I’d be downloading the trial samples of Microsoft’s new Expression Web design tools and the test preview of its “WPF/E” version of Windows Presentation Foundation.
Expression Web and Expression Media are now on sale. Expression Web is a tool for designing sites, and Expression Media is a tool for managing digital assets.
Coming next quarter are Expression Design, an illustration tool, and Expression Blend, a tool for creating Web applications based on the new .Net Framework 3.0.
WPF/E is much more than Microsoft’s worst code name. Scott Guthrie, general manager of the development team, on his blog described it as “a small client runtime that enables AJAX developers and designers to deliver richer, cross-platform, interactive web experiences. It will allow applications to go beyond what can be done with pure HTML today, and will enable sites to significantly improve the client user experience by blending HTML UI, Dynamic Vector Graphics, Animation and Media into a seamless cross-platform browser experience.”
It’s also available for both Windows and Macs, even PowerPC Macs.