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This is the announcement a lot of people have been waiting and hoping for, the two Expression products most closely aligned with the developer community are now available as part of your MSDN Premium subscription.

Over the past couple of months there’s been a lot of discussion in the blogosphere about the Expression products not being available as part of the MSDN subscription – so what’s changed?

It’s been interesting being on the inside of the organisation and watching this decision unfold. The designer market is a new market that Microsoft is looking to address and all the way along we’ve been determined to take baby steps, not rush things and get the foundations right. This has been true both from the product side and the licencing side.

The question was always “do we put a series of new products targeted towards designers, the Expression products, into a subscription package aimed at developers”. As still a relative newbie to the company I was pleased to see the Expression team taking huge amounts of feedback to help shape the decision.

We saw the feedback in the blogs, we spoke to thousands of developers, we discussed internally, we listened – the feedback from our developer community was almost universal “Yes we’d like Expression Web and Blend within MSDN”.

We listened, we heard and we thought some more. I liked this approach – there was no knee jerk reaction, no rush, just a determination to make sure that the right decision was taken.

For Microsoft it’s important as we address new markets such as the designer/agency market that we provide a strong bridge between this new market and the market Microsoft traditionally targets, the developer market. The key to this is raising the understanding of what each party brings to the table – the whole designer and developer workflow continuum.

The workflow between the designer and the developer is one of the key areas we’re tyring to address with the new Expression products and technologies. To be honest the best way to enable better understanding is to expose the different workflows and products to the different markets.

So developers receive copies of Expression Web and Expression Blend as part of their MSDN Premium subscription and can therefore gain a full understanding of how designers can collaborate with them using the Expression products. Designers who purchase the Expression Studio also receive a copy of Visual Studio in the box, helping them understand the collaboration, workflow and tools available to the developer. Sounds like a win win to me!

One final thought – next time we ask for feedback on a our software, direction, licencing or whatever the subject may be – remember this MSDN post – your voice is heard loud and clear, you can make a difference, we do listen, and we do try to do the right thing.

You can read further comments about this announcement on the following blogs:

S. Somasegar –

Forest Key –

Jon Harris
User Experience Evangelist, UK


3 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] Read more about it on the UK Web Agency blog. […]

  2. […]  You can read the full post over on our ukagency blog. […]

  3. […] Jon recently posted an entry about Expression Web and Expression Blend being included within MSDN Premium subscription. If you work in an agency which is new to Microsoft’s tools you might be wondering what […]

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