I’m a tad confused why MS is pushing both tools outside of revenue reasons?
My analogy is along the lines of creating a web application today in Visual Studio:
Let’s say you use the designer to drag a GridView to the screen. You configure your GridView, adding header templates, item templates, etc… you then goto the code behind, add your databinding, any ‘onitemdatabound’ events, etc…
Using this analogy, I compare what MS is doing with SL and Expression to be this: Instead of being able to do this in Visual Studio, you can only go to the aspx page and add the Gridview markup. Because, adding a GridView to a designer UI is what ‘designers’ do. Developers don’t ‘design’ in MS world, they just write markup and code. But if you do want designer support, you need to spend another $1000 (or whatever expression cost) in order to drag and drop Gridviews and configure them.
That is how I see ‘Expression’.
Basically Microsoft is saying that only designers design and programmers just write code. I think that is a fallacy. Perhaps they are targeting large organizations that can staff these different roles. I’ve never had a designer – I’ve had artist create images and layouts, but then I have taken those and built it myself from their renderings.
And quite honestly, this only hurts the developers who aren’t in large corporations. ie. I now must buy Visual Studio licenses and Expression licenses in order to build a Silverlight application.
On a side note, I really don’t like the look of Expression. It’s UI is a total departure from the familiar UI of their other tools. If they want to provide skinnable interfaces, fine, but at least make the default keep a familiar UI.
There is my Friday rant 😉