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Saturday, January 5, 2013

Microsoft Stopped Selling Expression

Software giant has come to a decision to kill a program called Expression. It seems that in its effort to copy Apple, Microsoft has been increasingly clamping down on any form of Expression in a hope that consumers would instead get used to a world where people do as they are told. 

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If you don’t know, Expression was a suite of Internet and design-oriented instruments and the company has been slowly pulling the plug on it. Vector graphics drawing instrument Expression Design 4 was end-of-lived, and Microsoft claimed there were new versions created, so it isn’t for sale any longer. The tool can be downloaded for free, and the program will continue to receive security patches for at least 2 more years. In the meanwhile, Microsoft announced there will be no replacement or alternative of the product.

In other words, the program has seen the fate of the HTML and CSS authoring instrument Expression Web 4, which is currently available as a free download. Microsoft has decided that it will continue to extend and develop Visual Studio’s HTML, CSS, and JavaScript capabilities. At the moment, the priority is given to the IDE as Microsoft’s main actively maintained web development tool.

In addition, the SuperPreview Remote service which let developers to view their pages in several browsers hosted on the company’s servers is also expected to be killed off in the middle of 2013. Expression Blend, the instrument for building user interfaces in XAML, will also find itself integrated into Visual Studio.

Actually, the only part of the Expression suite that seems to have any life left in it is the Expression Encoder, which is employed for both off-line media conversion and on-line media streaming. The code has both a free limited version and a Pro version which adds support for H.264.

Microsoft announced that Expression Encoder 4 Pro will be sold until the end of 2013 – the tool won’t undergo any future development and there won’t be any new versions. In the meantime, encoding, format conversion, and media streaming will be integrated into Windows Azure Media Services.

In other words, the software giant is ending the development of any tooling which is oriented at designers rather than developers. This is because the company had been unable to take down Adobe as the market leader and can’t be bothered working with designers.