No more Expression Studio – What does it mean?

Things are changing fast at Microsoft and its developer tools. Expression Studio is fading out and the future of Silverlight is also a big question. Hal Berenson, a former Distinguished Engineer at Microsoft, explains some things. I copy two parts to get an idea:

The Web also allowed another platform competitor to emerge, Adobe.  Adobe’s Flash, AIR, and Flex represented another serious threat to Microsoft’s platforms.  Applications written using them were platform independent, and Flash itself had gained enormous market share as the only practical way to create rich media experiences on the web.  Moreover, Adobe’s business model was the exact opposite of Microsoft’s.  Whereas Microsoft provided development tools primarily in order to sell runtimes (e.g., operating systems), Adobe gave away runtimes in order to sell tools.  Adobe also specialized in entering the application lifecycle much earlier than Microsoft, establishing dominance in the design tool space.


One of the first things to note about the iPhone was that Apple made development tools available for free.  At the same time Microsoft was requiring mobile developers to purchase one of its premium versions of Visual Studio such as Professional.  For Windows Phone to succeed Microsoft was going to have to give away tools for mobile development.  Second, Apple eschewed any kind of plug-ins for the iPhone browser and designed the rules for the App Store to ban generic runtimes like those of Adobe.  As it turned out the iPhones huge success would end Adobe’s run at becoming a platform vendor.

Read the whole article here: Putting Expression Studio’s demise in perspective | Hal\’s (Im)Perfect Vision. And also read the comments from Scott Barnes and Sparkler below the article. They both work (or worked) for Microsoft and provide more details. Very interesting details…


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