Expression suite to RTM before April 20

Expression StudioIt has come to my understanding Expression, the new suite of Microsoft professional design tools including Expression Blend, Expression Web, Expression Design and Expression Media are all expected to finalize and RTM (release to manufacturing) before April 20 – the start of Microsoft’s design-oriented design conference MIX 2007 in Las Vegas.

On March 19, Microsoft announced they will be giving away commemorative copies of Expression Studio to every MIX07 attendee, which could only mean only one thing, the product must be finished, produced and packaged before the event begins. Otherwise a lot of people are in for a spanking.

With less than 30 days to go, that might seem like an overwhelming undertaking to ship four products, two of which are still in beta. Expression Design was only updated to Beta 2 status last week and Expression Blend as a Release Candidate. However the bug count at their respective beta portals suggest both products are progressing extremely well with most new bugs closed within hours if not days. I bet all this makes the Vista team envious.

Ray Ozzie will most likely announce its general availability at the MIX keynote. Expression Studio is expected to retail for US$599.

Update: My best guess is the entire Expression suite will RTM on April 8.

6 insightful thoughts

  1. As an Adobe Illustrator power user I have to say, that I really like Expression Blend and Design. The interface is really well done and in Design there are many little things better than in Illustrator. Even the Beta versions feel very finished. So competition is always a good thing and I believe that Adobe CS3 will be more improved not only because of Microsofts efforts.

  2. The fact that expression is built on top of the framework that its designed to help users create for is a blessing in itself. It is very intuitive, and very smooth…

  3. I am no expert in this software but it seems that Microsoft are producing many variants of FrontPage, we have Sharepoint Designer and Expression Web, but it is good that Microsoft are finally getting into the web and graphics design sector, lets just hope they do it properly.

  4. Surely that is not likely given that Design only just went into Beta 2!?

    Beta 2 -> RTM in 3 weeks? Hmmmmm. Would kinda make the beta pointless but who knows… maybe they have ‘pressures’.

  5. Could also be they plan to give away a commemorative set of 3 x RTM + 1 x Beta disc… and a coupon to get Design RTM when it ships! :O

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