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The tools, formally named this week, are aimed at interactive Web site designers and graphics designers developing WinFX-based applications on Windows XP and Windows Vista, Microsoft said. (...) The third member of the Expression family, Expression Web Designer, is aimed at Web designers and is still in beta testing.
This product is potentially huge - the Expression programs are Microsoft's attempt to bring in the designer crowd (publishing as well as web) off the Mac platform. The Web Designer component is in beta and is supposed to produce standards-based XHTML by default, but the move to open standards on the client side is not followed for the backend, where Microsoft's XAML, which is a proprietary XML-based format for use in the upcoming Windows Vista OS.
"Create CSS-based, XHTML 1.0 Transitional–conformant Web sites by default, and work better across browsers, simplifying deployment and maintenance. Configure flexible schema settings to support all combinations of HTML/XHTML/Strict/Transitional/Frameset and CSS 1.0/2.0/2.1 in addition to browser-specific schemas. Validate your site with Compatibility reporting and use the Accessibility report to verify your site against Section 508 and W3C Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).."
But aside from that, the other two products look pretty interesting also. Apparently this is going to be like the "Microsoft Office of the Web"?
Microsoft Office SharePoint Designer 2007 and Microsoft Expression Web Designer feature deep support for open Web standards as well as extensive customization features.
Two new products based on FrontPage technologies to address the needs of specific customers and markets.
Microsoft Office SharePoint Designer 2007 which will focus on building applications and automating business processes on top of the SharePoint platform, and customizing SharePoint sites (for both Windows SharePoint Server and Office SharePoint Server).
Microsoft Expression Web Designer which will focus on building standards-based Web sites and providing the best tools for professional web designers building dynamic sites with ASP.NET.
Just want to clarify that FrontPage will be phased out of the lineup. For many of us, Expression Web Designer is the next step. For some, Sharepoint Designer is the next step. Which platform are you going to work from?