Microsoft has announced a set of .Net Web and UI interface design tools that rival the sorts of design and development tools Adobe is set to acquire from Macromedia.
Announced at the Microsoft Professional Developer Conference the Expression suite includes three products; Expression Graphic Designer; Expression Interactive Designer and Expression Web Designer. However, the user interface design tool relies on the run-time Windows Presentation Foundation for PC-based apps, which won’t be available in user desktops for another year.
The product family focuses on integrating design into the development process by leveraging common file types and languages such as Extensible Application Markup Language (XAML), HTML and ASP.NET and through seamless integration with Microsoft Visual Studio, said the company.
The three products in the suite have development code-names as follows: Acrylic Graphic Designer is a painting, illustration and effects tool for creating graphic designs; Sparkle Interactive Designer is a user-interface design tool for modern application development using the Windows Presentation Foundation; and Quartz Web Designer a layout and design tool for creating Web sites.