Expression Web 4 is now a free download from Microsoft – the good news and the bad news
On December 20, 2012, Microsoft announced that Microsoft Expression Web 4 was no longer available for purchase – it is now available as a free download.
What’s the good news?
The free version is the SP2a version, which includes 3 previously undocumented fixes:
- Nested object tags are now supported
- Editing with external tools is supported (e.g., edit in Notepad)
and files are saved to the website folder rather than the temp folder
- You can now see editable regions outlined with an orange
border in Design View which did not work on Expression Web 4 SP2.
The other good news is that you can now run Expression Web 4 on as many PCs as you need.
What’s the bad news?
This free version of Expression Web is not eligible for Microsoft technical support. If you have issues with the free version, your only option is to turn to the Microsoft Expression Web forum for help from other users. Customers who previously purchased Expression Web will receive support through the established support lifecycle.
There will be no further development resources invested in Expression Web by Microsoft. This means that any bugs previously reported by users in the forums, Microsoft Connect and/or UserVoice will not be fixed. This also means that as new technologies are developed for the Web, Expression Web will not be enhanced to support those technologies.
You should be able to download and use Expression Web 4 for quite a while – just because Microsoft is no longer selling it nor supporting it doesn’t mean it will mysteriously stop working.
Microsoft is encouraging its customers to take a look at Microsoft Visual Studio Express 2012 for Web – a “free and robust development environment for building, testing, and deploying web applications across the Microsoft Web Platform. After installation, you can try this product for up to 30 days. You must register to obtain a free product key for ongoing use after 30 days.”