Thursday, February 01, 2007

Microsoft Expression Session 2007

I had the pleasure of attending the last session of three Microsoft Expression Session events in New York City on January 30. Well for those who don’t know, the Expression suite consists of four products: Design, Blend, Web, and Media. The event took place at 7 WTC on 51st floor that as you see it has a great view over New York City.

The morning session was essentially an overview of the suite by the product managers from Microsoft. They showed some impressive demos including a Burton Snowboards WPF application create by Beau Amber from Metalliq. It was interesting to see someone else from the Flash community working in WPF.

Expression Web (the Dreamweaver competitor), which was just released, is the professional version of MS Front Page with lot more feature. The UI for the application looked very neat, straightforward, flexible and useful. The visual CSS editing was particularly advance and impressive, that as a default it appears on the right side of the application. The best feature I think was attributes panel on the left side. Basically each time you click on any HTML tag/object it gives you list of that tag/object attributes. I remember it was a very useful feature on Visual Basic and VB.Net. They gave me a free copy of Expression Web ($79 Value) and I'm installing it now, and I'll try to post more detailed comments about it later. But I still like my Dreamweaver more.

The beta version of Expression Blend (their Flash competitor) that they showed us was still somehow incomplete. By the way their both MacBook Pro with Windows Vista crashed during the rendering. Beau Amber was so embarrassed. Anway the UI looked overloaded and confusing. Actually I guess the wanted to copy the UI of After Effect 7 (for Mac) but the couldn’t. Anyway I had hard time with it.

I will post my comment on Expression Media and Design later. By the way I had the pleasure of talking to Jeff King and CSS legend Eric Meyer. They really did a great speech. However I missed Chris Bernard speech because I was listing to Beau Ambur. I was there from 9am to 6pm and in general it was a great event.

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