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Buying Expression Studio 3

August 6, 2009

I think Expression Studio 3 is now available: the website has switched from "pre-order" buttons to "buy" and "upgrade".

Kevin pointed out that MSDN is the way to go, which I agree with if it is an option, but I have Visual Studio Professional with MSDN Professional, which is $1,199: Expression doesn’t become downloadable until you have Visual Studio Professional with MSDN Premium which is $2,499. It’s just not worth it to me to spend an additional $1,300.

Studio Pricing

Expression Studio 3 costs $599 for the full version or $349 for an upgrade.  If you don’t have MSDN or anything like it, they have a good deal going though with "Expression Professional Subscription":

  • Expression Blend + SketchFlow
  • Expression Web
  • Expression Design
  • Expression Encoder + IIS Smooth Streaming
  • Visual Studio® Standard
  • Office Standard
  • Office Visio® Professional
  • Windows® XP
  • Windows Vista® Business Edition

All for only $999. I wonder if they’ll include Windows 7 now that it’s RTM?  And what happened to Expression Media?  It is no longer listed on the site.  No loss for me since I never used it, but I am curious.

Microsoft Action Pack Subscription

Through the Partner program, I was getting Expression Studio 2 via our Microsoft Action Pack (MAPS) subscription (specifically as part of the web solutions toolkit).  With MAPS I have to wait until they ship it to get the software, so I emailed the MAPS team the other day and asked if they knew when it would be available but they said they were not sure when the product would be released.

Today I checked the MAPS information online and they are now only advertising Expression Web, Design, and Encoder.  So it looks like I’ll probably end up buying the upgrade.  I’m a little surprised I can’t just update Blend, but apparently they aren’t selling the pieces individually except for Expression Web.

I’ve said for sometime that Microsoft should be giving Blend away if they really want to promote the adoption of WPF and Silverlight.  I wonder how many developers are sticking with Visual Studio because they don’t have access to Blend?

UPDATE:

The Luddite Developer is talking about this as well.  Seems he is in the same boat as me as far as MSDN goes.

I tried to call the MAPS team yesterday to get clarification on whether or not Expression Studio was going to continue to be part of MAPS, and also an update on when Expression 3 might ship.  The phone number given to me by Microsoft -I had called MSDN earlier and been given the number – had an interesting message:

“The number you have dialed has a new national directory service. For a charge of $3.79 please dial this new number …”

You want what?  You want me to pay to dial a new number?  Wow – if this was a rant I could fill it up… either MSDN gave me a bad number or MAPS is now charging for the privilege of calling them.

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Categories: Expression
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