Microsoft is now huffing and puffing â€“ and getting ready â€“ to challenge Adobeâ€™s turf in web design and development. It has released a barrage of software aimed clearly at Adobeâ€™s web design tools that include the whole Macromedia package it purchased recently.
In its first salvo, Microsoft released on Monday its Expression Web, a tool for designing user interfaces. It is offering the product as an upgrade to its Microsoft FrontPage web authoring tool. Then, it posted a public beta download of Expression Blend, its Windows-specific design software. Plus, it delivered an early version of Expression Design, a tool for creating logos, animations and other individual visual elements.
The three products will comprise Expression Studio, set for shipping in the second quarter of 2007. The fourth product in the suite is an update to iView MediaPro, a media asset catalog program that Microsoft acquired this summer. MS is calling this 4th product the Microsoft Expression Media, a cross-platform application that will work on Windows XP, Vista and Mac OS X.
Expression Media will be available for purchase ($299) in the second quarter of 2007, either individually or included as part of the Expression Studio.
Now, if I can only sort my way out of this confusing maze of Expressions…