Wow, Microsoft learns! It’s taken them awhile, but now they got it (nearly) right: Expression Web is now part of all Premium level subscriptions. In case you hadn’t heard, it came at an extra cost so far, regardless of what you were already paying for your existing subscription, with Microsoft arguing that it wasn’t meant to be a developer tool and so it shouldn’t be part of their developer subscription package.
Apparently Blend will be handled in the same way once it goes RTM, which is a blessing. Apparently Design and Media are still something special though – I’m not sure if that’s the right decision once more. They will be available as part of the Expression Studio (the package of all four products), and that will be part of the Team Suite subscriptions, but not the Professional ones. I’m thinking that if I’m part of a big team, it’s rather probable that there will be designers involved in my WPF development effort. On the other hand, if I’m a single guy or a small team and I’m using a Professional level subscription, that’s exactly when I’d really like to have those tools included in the package because more likely than not I’m doing all the graphics stuff on my products myself, even if I’m not an expert on that.
Well, let’s be thankful for what we get and see about the rest later. Kudos to Microsoft for listening!