What does this mean for FrontPage and Expression Web users?
This is no belated April Fool’s joke its a listening to your customers and providing a solution. Something I hope Microsoft will do with similar software.
What is it Microsoft have changed about the licensing for SharePoint Designer 2007?
A key aspect of SharePoint is its ability to support customised solutions, and Microsoft want to support that facility to allow customers to make the most of the SharePoint platform and make dynamic web sites.
So they are making SharePoint Designer 2007 as of the 1st April, 2009 a free download.
Future versions of SharePoint Designer will also be available as a free download. The next version of SharePoint Designer will ship simultaneously with the next version of SharePoint.
For those customers who have software assurance benefits (this means they bought SharePoint) they will be giving those customers rights to Expression Web (though they don’t say which version).
What are SharePoint customisations and why are they important to MS?
Content management and enterprise search, support for shared business process and workflows, information sharing and better business insight across intranet, extranet and internet facing applications are all provided within one platform for better organisational effectiveness. Customer feedback to Microsoft feels that a significant part of the capabilities of SharePoint Designer are seen as just an extension of what SharePoint already does. Customers write their own customisations for SharePoint because they need customized solutions and this is what Microsoft want to support, hence the change.
Expression Web does not currently support SharePoint sites. When will that change?
Expression Web does not currently support SharePoint sites directly. However, it will be available in a future version of Expression Web. Future investments in this area are to be focused on ensuring that each relevant role within your organization has the right tools to work on SharePoint while allowing different roles to collaborate. To this end, Expression Web and the full Expression Suite will empower professional designers with page customization capabilities on SharePoint, while SharePoint users can continue to use SharePoint Designer. The goal of Microsoft is to continue helping customers just like you use SharePoint to deliver custom portal solutions, extranets, intranets, internet-facing sites, collaboration solutions, social networking sites, and internal applications on top of the extensive capabilities of SharePoint.
What about support for SharePoint Designer 2007?
Customer support policies for SharePoint Designer 2007 remain unchanged. Microsoft will continue to support all SharePoint Designer customers per their existing support policy.
What does this mean for FrontPage users?
It means that if you want to experience something very similar to Expression Web 1.0 but which ALSO contains working FrontPage Bots and for FREE, then SharePoint Designer 2007 is what you should move to.
My host is still dropping FPSE (FrontPage Server Extensions) what should I do?
Use SharePoint Designer 2007 as a transition between FrontPage and Expression Web, gradually dropping each of the bots one by one. In the meantime
What if I still can’t afford Expression Web but don’t want to use the FrontPage bots?
Simple you obtain your free download of SharePoint Designer 2007 and merely ignore the fp bots along with the SharePoint features.