Microsoft unveils revamped Expression Studio

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Microsoft unveils revamped Expression Studio

Enhanced design offerings for professionals.

Microsoft has re-jigged the product line and pricing of its Expression Studio offerings for design professionals.

Expression Studio comprises Expression Web for creating websites, Expression Blend (formally Interactive Designer) for Windows designing, and Expression Design (formally Graphic Designer) for visual elements for web and Windows designing.

A new tool, Expression Media, provides digital asset management and unification of team workflow across the suite.

Product enhancements unveiled today in Expression Blend and Expression Design include a revamped user interface based on feedback following more than half a million downloads of Expression community technology previews (CTPs).

Expression Blend Beta 1 and the Expression Design December 2006 CTP are available for download.

Expression Media, based on the iView MediaPro product acquired by Microsoft earlier this year, supports more than 100 media formats and provides offline access to visual catalogues.

Expression Media includes Expression Media Encoder for the preparation, encoding and deployment of video and audio for Web and Windows. A first CTP of Expression Media is expected early in 2007.

Also made available today is the first CTP of Windows Presentation Foundation Everywhere, a cross-platform browser plug-in for delivering media, animation and video content based on Windows Media technology.

Bola Rotibi, a senior analyst at Ovum, said: "Organisations will increasingly seek to differentiate their end-user services and retain and grow their customer base by delivering superior application user experiences.

"Microsoft's product strategy acknowledges what we believe to be the new battle lines for environments tasked with delivering user-facing applications."

S. Somasegar, corporate vice president of the Developer Division at Microsoft, added: "Our goal is to enable designers to collaborate with development teams like never before."
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