Microsoft kills Expression -

Software giant Microsoft has decided that it no longer wants to sell a programme called Expression.

In its attempts to copy Apple, Microsoft has been increasingly clamping down on all forms of Expression and hoping that users will instead adopt a world where people do as they are told. It is not surprising, then, that in this clamp down on individuality, Expression should go the way of the dodo.

Expression was a suite of web and design-oriented tools and Microsoft has been slowly pulling the plug on it.

Vector graphics drawing tool Expression Design 4 has been end-of-lifed, Vole has said that there were new versions developed, and it's no longer for sale. It can be downloaded for free, and it'll continue to receive security patches as necessary until at least 2015. Vole has said that there will be no replacement or alternative to users of the product.

It appears to have gone the way of the HTML and CSS authoring tool Expression Web 4 which is now available as a free download.

Vole has decided that it will continue to extend and improve Visual Studio's HTML, CSS, and JavaScript capabilities, with the IDE now being the company's main actively maintained web development tool.

The SuperPreview Remote service that allowed developers to view their pages in a range of browsers hosted on Microsoft's servers will be killed off in the middle of the year.

Expression Blend, the tool for building user interfaces in XAML will find itself rolled into Visual Studio.

The only bit of the Expression suite which seems to have any life left in it is the Expression Encoder. This code is used for both off-line media conversion and on-line media streaming. It already has a free limited version and a Pro version that adds support for H.264.

Expression Encoder 4 Pro will continue to be for sale until the end of 2013. It will not undergo any future development and there will be no new versions. Encoding, format conversion, and media streaming will be rolled into Windows Azure Media Services.

Practically this means that Microsoft is ending the development of any tooling that's oriented at design professionals rather than developers.

It is a sign that Microsoft had been unable to take down Adobe as the market leader. It is also an indication that Vole can't be bothered working with designers.