Microsoft launched their new Expression Web Designer last week. This had been in beta, as is a great tool for editing web sites. Except, there’s one problem. It’s not part of the MSDN subscriptions! Where did I hear this? From the Business Manager for Visual Studio Express and Expression Tools, Chris Treadway. First off, why would one manager handle one tool for developers and another for designers? Uh, shouldn’t THAT little fact make it obvious that it’s a piece of Developer’s software?
Ok, I’ll end the rant about the Expression tools not being included in MSDN. I think it is the wrong move, and I’ll bet that the decision will be changed soon.
Now, for the real reason of this post… Part of what Chris has said is that instead of Expression, developers should use the Sharepoint Designer 2007 software. "Uh, what if I don’t want to work with Sharepoint?", you ask. Well…. it turns out that Sharepoint Designer is the replacement for FrontPage. You don’t HAVE to use it with Sharepoint. It works very well in working with Sharepoint, but it is equally happy working on regular web sites that have NOTHING to do with Sharepoint.
Maybe if that had been explained, most developers wouldn’t have even cared about Expression….