REDMOND, Wash. — May 1, 2008 — Microsoft Corp. today delivered on its commitment to rapid innovation for the newest Microsoft platforms and latest Web technologies by announcing the release of Expression Studio 2.
The suite of professional design tools includes Expression Web 2, Expression Blend 2, Expression Design 2, Expression Media 2 and Expression Encoder 2 and works seamlessly with Visual Studio 2005 and Visual Studio 2008, solving the age-old designer and developer workflow challenge. The innovations in Extensible Application Markup Language (XAML), used by both Expression Studio and Visual Studio, allow for unprecedented designer-developer collaboration for the creation of both standards-based and Microsoft Silverlight-enhanced Web experiences as well as Windows Vista and .NET Framework 3.5 client applications.
Geotagging with Virtual Earth: Take advantage of geotagged images with Virtual Earth integration.
In line with the team’s commitment to short release cycles, Expression Studio 2 is coming to market one year after the last release with major updates to each product. The products together contain more than 100 new features and introduce new Microsoft Silverlight functionality for creating stunning cross-browser, cross-platform Web experiences. Key features include the following:
Expression Web 2 adds support for PHP and Adobe Photoshop import based on customer feedback.
Expression Blend 2, in addition to Silverlight support, adds vertex animation and an improved user interface with a new split design/XAML view.
Expression Design 2 adds improved exporting functionality including the ability to export slices.
Expression Media 2 is a robust digital asset management solution for photographers and other creative professionals. It adds support for the latest file formats including RAW, provides geotagging functionality, and is supported by Microsoft Office 2007 and Microsoft Office for Mac 2008.
Expression Encoder 2 is now a core offering of the suite. It allows creative and Web professionals to optimize almost any type of video content quickly for publishing on the Web, either in streaming video, rich-media advertising or other Web 2.0 projects.
This groundbreaking release brings creative professionals fully into the application development process, accelerating time to market, minimizing resource use and improving return on investment for new projects. A full overview of features is available at http://www.microsoft.com/expression/features.
“The release of Expression Studio 2 flies in formation with the latest platform releases such as Silverlight and Windows Presentation Foundation and is a very exciting milestone for the industry,” said Eric Zocher, general manager for Expression Studio at Microsoft. “Great user experience is at the heart and soul of our Expression family of tools and is fundamental to enabling developers and designers to collaborate on building and delivering dynamic, connected applications that help customers achieve results.”
Millions of customers and partners such as Conchango PLC, 2ndFACTORY Co. Ltd, Design To Business (d2B), Infusion Development, and Pink and Yellow Media are beginning to experience the newfound power of Expression Studio and delivering rich, connected client and Web applications based on Windows Presentation Foundation, Microsoft Silverlight and Microsoft ASP.NET AJAX.
“The release of Expression Studio 2 signifies some major advancements in the way that designers and developers work together, which is enabling us to realize much more of our vision, and to do it more efficiently,” said Paul Dawson, head of experience at Conchango. “In addition, the increased connectedness between Visual Studio 2008 and Expression Studio is really beneficial. XAML is now where we live out that collaboration, which is giving us efficiencies in the design and development process of somewhere in the region of 20 percent to 30 percent, meaning our customers get much better branded user experiences, more reliable and robust code, in a shorter time frame and for a better cost.”
Pricing and Availability
Microsoft also unveiled final product pricing and availability for the complete Expression 2 product family. Interested customers can purchase the entire studio from leading retailers such as Amazon.com and Best Buy starting in mid-May for $699 estimated retail price (ERP) (U.S.). In addition, all of the tools except Expression Design 2 are available as stand-alone products: Expression Blend 2 is available for $499 ERP (U.S.), Expression Web 2 is available for $299 ERP (U.S.), Expression Media 2 for $199 ERP (U.S), and Expression Encoder 2 for $199 ERP (U.S.). Microsoft also offers several upgrade options for existing Expression users and companion upgrades to Expression Web and Expression Media from a range of software titles by other vendors, including Adobe Systems Inc. All Expression products for English-speaking markets will include a getting-started video training courtesy of Total Training Inc. Comprehensive video training will be available for purchase separately at http://www.totaltraining.com/expression2.
As announced at MIX08, Microsoft also is introducing the Microsoft Expression Professional Subscription in June 2008, which includes the full suite along with a number of other Microsoft programs* such as Visual Studio, Windows Vista and Microsoft Office to help users get started at an exceptional value of $999 ERP (U.S). More information about the subscription is available at http://www.microsoft.com/expression/subscription.
Full product pricing and availability information is available at http://www.microsoft.com/expression.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass on Microsoft’s corporate information pages. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/contactpr.mspx.