Microsoft quietly kills off Expression Design and Expression Web, adds some of its features to Visual Studio

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Looks like Microsoft has quietly killed off two of its design products, Expression Design and Expression Web (including Expression Studio as well), as no official statement has been made. However, the product’s website tells us know about its demise. Expression Encoder will continue to live on for now, but no new development will be made to the product.

Expression Design 4, Microsoft’s vector graphics design tool, has been quietly killed and is no longer available for sale nor will there be any new versions developed by Microsoft. The software is now available for free and Microsoft will continue to provide security patches until 2015 (if needed). On the other hand, you have Expression Web, which is Microsoft’s HTML/CSS authoring tool. Expression Web 4 is also no longer for sale and no new development will be made for the product. Expression Studio, a bundle of these products, is also discontinued and no longer available for purchase. Microsoft has incorporated Expression Blend into Visual Studio 2012, which helps developers build user interfaces in XAML and HTML. This tool helps developers create the perfect Windows Store app. On the other hand, Expression Encoder 4 Pro will continue to be for sale until the end of 2013. Microsoft introduced the suite of Expression design software in September of 2005, during the company’s Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles.

“The proliferation of rich interactive web applications across the cloud and mobile devices continues to create new opportunities for creative design and development. As these technologies evolve, Microsoft is committed to providing best-in-class tools for building modern applications. In support of these industry trends Microsoft is consolidating our lead design and development offerings – Expression and Visual Studio – to offer all of our customers a unified solution that brings together the best of Web and modern development patterns,” Microsoft stated on the Expression Studio website. Here is a breakdown of what is going to happen to each product:

  • Blend will be fully integrated with Visual Studio 2012. Blend for Visual Studio 2012 provides a rich design-centric environment for building Windows Store apps and Windows Phone apps. In addition to that, WPF, Silverlight and SketchFlow support is available today as a preview and will be released in Visual Studio 2012 Update 2.
  • Expression Studio 4 Ultimate and Expression Studio 4 Web Professional are no longer available for sale. For customers who previously purchased these products, all components within Ultimate and Web Professional will be supported through their support lifecycle.
  • Expression Design 4 and Expression Web 4 are now available for download at no charge. Technical support will not be available for these free versions.
  • Expression Encoder 4 Pro will be available for purchase through 2013. Expression Encoder 4 remains available for download at no charge.

Thanks for the tip Justin!