The announcement of Microsoft Expression Studio product and WPF /E generated a lot of buzz yesterday. The products will give designers an alternative to Adobe’s products for creating rich user interfaces for web applications easily. Designers will also be able to use the products for desktop applications but my guess is that Microsoft’s emphasis for these products will be on the web.
WPF /E (Windows Presentation Foundation/Everywhere) is Microsoft’s answer to Adobe/Macromedia’s Flash Player. I downloaded it from the release site and played with it a bit with the demos which are also available on that site. The installation was fast and smooth on IE7. However, Firefox wasn’t able to locate the plugin. All demos ran pretty smoothly and the UI was very slick and responsive, just like what you’d see in a Flash application.
I’m pretty excited by just playing with the demos. Hopefully, the plug-ins for Firefox and Safari will be available soon. I do wonder how many professional designers will switch to the Microsoft platform when they’re already very comfortable with the Adobe tools. Do you see capabilities that Expression offers that Adobe’s products don’t? If you’re a designer, I’d love to hear your opinions.