Microsoft Expression - An Overview

The Microsoft Expression Studio, also known simply as the Microsoft Expression or the Expression, was a collection of tools for web design and development as well as various web applications including digital media contents. The Expression was formally launched in 2005 and discontinued in 2012. However, all who purchased the Expression products continue to be supported through the support lifecycle. Users of free Expression tools (these can still be downloaded at the Microsoft Download Center), on the other hand, can get support through the community.

A Brief History of the Microsoft Expression Studio

The Microsoft Expression was first presented at the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference that was held in September in 2005 in Los Angeles, California. Two years latter, the software giant launched the Microsoft Expression Encoder which was announced at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) event in 2007. The Microsoft Expression Studio (version 1.0) was introduced in 2006 but it was released to manufacturing only in April 2007.

Less than a year after the release of the Expression Studio (1.0), Microsoft released the Expression Studio 2. It became available in May 2008 and featured a graphical makeover for the upgraded products in the collection which also included the Visual Studio 2008, a rich series of web development and programming tools. In July 2009, the Expression Studio 3 was released. It came with all the former products in the collection, all of which, however, featured many upgrades and improvements. The last version of the Microsoft Expression - the Expression Studio 4 was released in June 2010 as the upgraded version of the 3rd version.

Editions and Tools Included in the Expression Studio 4

The Microsoft Expression Studio 4 was released in two editions:

This edition consisted of the standard tools and products such as the Expression Web (web design tool and HTML editor), Expression Design (vector graphic tool) and Expression Encoder (video encoding programme). All three products are still available for free download at the Microsoft Download Center but support is available only through the community. Customers who purchased the mentioned tools through the Expression Studio 4 Web Professional are provided support through the company’s support lifecycle.

Besides the above mentioned products, this edition also includes the Expression Blend (tool for user interface design now available as a standalone product), and SuperPreview and SketchFlow. The former is a very useful programme for website performance and compatibility testing, while the latter is a prototyping programme for easier and faster prototype development.