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Chris Breisch   .NET Data Practices
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Yesterday, Microsoft released the January 2006 CTP’s of “Sparkle” and “Acrylic”.  These are two of the three parts to the “Expression” suites Microsoft will be releasing later this year in an effort to take on Adobe’s dominance in the designer space.  “Sparkle” is designed to take on Flash, while Acrylic is supposed to be competitive with Photoshop.  The third piece is currently called “Quartz” and lives in the Web Design space.

None of these areas are my areas of expertise.  From people that I know that do their work here, they’re moderately impressed with the CTP’s, but feel they still have a long way to go.  Expression does offer some benefits not seen elsewhere.  For example, the products fit seamlessly into the VS 2005 development suite.  They can open VS 2005 solutions and use the same source control and same versions of files.  This means that the developer and designer can work hand-in-hand and nearly simultaneously on a project, without the “wall” between them now.

However, given how entrenched other products already are, I think MS will have to add more benefits than that just to get people to switch.  Will version 1 do it?  Probably not, in my opinion.  But look out for versions 2 and 3.

Posted on Wednesday, January 25, 2006 7:54 AM General | Back to top

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