Microsoft readies design tool previews|
Reaching out to graphical application designers, Microsoft on Tuesday is posting community technology previews (CTPs) of two tools from its Expression series.
The company anticipates that its Expression line can provide functionality similar to Adobe Photoshop and Corel's CorelDraw, but with a Windows-centric focus. Being offered for the first time as a CTP is Microsoft Expression Interactive Designer , which had been known as Sparkle. The company also is releasing a fourth CTP of Microsoft Expression Graphic Designer , which had been code-named Acrylic.
"Interactive Designer is a tool for professional designers to design the look and behavior of an application's user interface," including the way it looks as well as its behavior, said Forest Key, director of developer marketing for the Microsoft Developer Division.
Built for Microsoft's WinFX managed code framework, the tool supports 2-D and 3-D graphics and animation as well as providing control of layouts. XAML (Extensible Application Markup Language) code is generated to describe the application's interfaces. Windows Presentation Foundation, which is due in the Vista version of Windows later this year, is the graphic engine that will run applications built with Expression Interactive Designer.
Expression Graphic Designer is a general-purpose tool for graphic design of a user interface. The new CTP exports XAML.
Graphics Designer is focused purely on graphics while Interactive Designer is geared toward designing interactions of the user interface, such as what happens when a user clicks on a button, according to Key. Data display also is designated.
Expression can integrate with Microsoft's Visual Studio development platform, enabling developers and designers to work together, Key said.
Microsoft will have its work cut out for it in positioning its Expression tools as a competitor to Adobe's offerings, according to Kerry Bodine, senior analyst at Forrester Research.
"The Expression tools are going to directly compete with Adobe's Photoshop, Illustrator, and Flash. It's going to be a tough road for Microsoft because Adobe's products are the established tools in the design community," Bodine said in an e-mail.
"But the Expression tools combine many of the features of Adobe's products and go beyond this functionality by connecting the work of designers and programmers," said Bodine . "Microsoft is taking a bigger look at the development process and the role that designers play, and the Expression tools are a great first step towards leveraging the skills of both designers and programmers."
Microsoft is not yet saying when it will have a general release of its Expression technology. Also part of the Expression family is Microsoft Expression Web Designer, for designing Web applications. It was code-named Quartz.
Google to Unveil New Chat Feature|
Online search engine leader Google Inc. is wedding its instant messaging and e-mail services in the same Web browser, hoping the convenience will lure users from the larger communications networks operated by its chief rivals.
IBM to Build, Host Hbc's New Online Store
Hudson's Bay Company has signed a five-year, multi-million-dollar agreement with IBM to develop and implement the retailer's new online store.
Apple Expands IPod Line, Cuts Some Prices
As competitors continue leaving the portable audio player market, Apple Computer Inc. beefed up its iPod product mix Tuesday with a new 1-gigabyte version of the nano and lower-priced shuffles.
Microsoft plans new PC security service for June
Microsoft Corp. said on Tuesday it plans to launch a new computer security service in June, marking the world's biggest software maker's entry into the fast-growing consumer anti-virus market.
Cisco Second-Quarter Profits Slip
Shares of Cisco Systems Inc. rose nearly 6 percent after the networking gear provider posted quarterly earnings-per-share that topped Wall Street's expectations by a penny.
Microsoft Internet Explorer Wins Over Firefox in Jan 2006
Net Applications , a provider of Web-based applications that measure, monitor and market Web sites for Small to Medium Enterprises (SME), today announced its monthly website browser usage statistics for January 2006.
Free Website SEO Analysis and Professional Search Engine Optimization Services
Increased targeted online traffic to your Website is essential for the success of your company’s presence online, and its not just about editing your Website’s HTML tags. Webpositionexpert is a company that simplifies your SEO project whilst allowing you to concentrate on your core business.
WinRAR for U3 Released
win.rar GmbH is proud to announce the U3 smart release of WinRAR for U3. WinRAR for U3 is WinRAR, the best compression tool available on the market, adapted to the U3 smart drive computing platform.
Google's Offers New Search Feature
Google Inc. is offering a new tool that will automatically transfer information from one personal computer to another, but anyone wanting that convenience must authorize the Internet search leader to store the material for up to 30 days.
Canadian IT Operators Discover Beauty In Spam
Nothing gets attention like the sound of a baby crying.