Today, Expression Studio 4 (which includes Expression Blend, SketchFlow, Expression Web, Expression Design, Expression Encoder) launched at the Internet Week conference in New York City! There are a ton of new features in these products, some of which we have shown off already in some episodes of Silverlight TV a http://silverlight.tv.
You can visit www.microsoft.com/expression to find out more about Expression and you can download a trial. Owners of v3 Expression Studio or Expression Web can upgrade at no additional cost to their corresponding v4 counterparts: Expression Studio 4 Ultimate and Expression Studio 4 Web Professional.
Important: If you are developing in Silverlight for Windows Phone 7, do not install the released version of Expression Studio 4. You must continue to use the Blend 4 Beta and Add-in Preview for Windows Phone. This Beta will be refreshed with each Phone SDK pre-release and will be unified with released Blend 4 in a service pack which will release when the Windows Phone SDK releases.
New OnRamp Training Material!
There is a brand new 5 day OnRamp training course to help you design and develop with Expression!
Tell Me More About What is New!
Keep an eye out on Adam Kinney’s blog for some great information on the Expression Studio 4 release. Adam is our Expression Evangelist and has been very busy with some incredible content for this release. I’ll also be blogging about how to use Blend 4 and its new features to create some great SketchFlow projects in the coming weeks. You should also check out the following links for some current content and some coming in the near future:
- .toolbox for great training material on Expression Blend and Silverlight
- Project Rosetta for some great Blend tutorials
- Adam Kinney’s blog
- Christian Schormann’s blog
- Peter Blois’s blog
- Soma has posted his favorite Expression 4 features
- Silverlight TV for some new videos on using Expression Studio 4 with Silverlight
Silverlight TV Resources
In this 2 episodes we demonstrate how to use Expression Blend to create a PathListBox and this video where we show the new behaviors, how to use them, and how to create a custom behavior in Expression Blend 4.
|Exploring the PathListBox (SL TV #25)||Using Behaviors in Blend 4 (SL TV #30)|
We’ll also be airing a video on http://silverlight.tv later this week (Thursday June 10th) on Fluid UI and transitions with Kenny Young.
Expression Blend 4
Expression Blend has come a long and is now part of my daily tools I use along with Visual Studio 2010. I’ve been using Blend on a daily basis as a developer since version 2 on both WPF and Silverlight projects and it is absolutely indispensable for much of my work.
I’ve used Blend to help create many applications prior coming to Microsoft. More recently, the ebay Simple Lister application relied heavily on Blend to create its views, transitions, and interactive nature and the views for the Sticky plugin I created for Seesmic Desktop 2 only took a day due to Blend.
SketchFlow is one of my favorite parts of Blend. It has helped me create interactive mockups, communicate with customers, and gather feedback at an entirely new level. SketchFlow has been more than just a mockup tool, it has helped speed up the process of creating applications like the ebay Simple Lister by making the iterative collaboration between the developer and the customer richer.
Here are just some of the new features of Blend 4:
- SketchFlow includes new mockup controls and “Sketchables”
- VS2010 compatibility
- Windows Phone support
- Deeper Adobe Photoshop import (layer effects)
- New behaviors & conditional behaviors
- Enhanced sample data support
- Listbox path layout for designing with data
- Pixel Shader effects (including animations)
- Easier styling and customization
- Model View View-Model support
Expression Encoder 4
I have become a great fan of Encoder. it makes adding visual overlays and creating multiple formats of Silverlight TV shows simple for me.
Here are just some of the new features of Encoder 4:
- Live Smooth Streaming (VC-1 and H.264)
- New H.264 encoder from MainConcept
- DRM (PlayReady) for live content
- Enhanced Screen Capture