Coffeehouse Thread

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Darkness Before Sparkle

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  • User profile image
    raymond

    The Expression suite of applications must be in deep dark mode at Microsoft.


    Microsoft needs to start ramping up the visibility and buzz around Expression.


    Most web designers as well as developers are simply unaware or could care less about Expression.


    If Channel 9 has any more videos on Expression, especially Sparkle (aka Expression Interactive Designer), please show them.


    Scoble had at least twenty hours of material for videos on Sparkle alone.

    I have been waiting over three years to take it to the next level.

    If Sparkle is truly the Flash/Director killer, show us?Tongue Out

  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    If Microsoft wants their Expression suite to be popular with the designers of the future, they are going to have to let it work its way around the warez sites, it's why Dreamweaver and Photoshop are so popular. If "kiddies" can't get used to the software at a young age, what reason do they have to buy it without knowing how to use it?

    It's sad, but true. Name one expensive and popular DCC app that didn't spread like wildfire around sites like Astalavista.

  • User profile image
    Bobinho

    raymond wrote:
    The Expression suite of applications must be in deep dark mode at Microsoft.



    I have the Expression suite on my machine and I think they have some innovative things going on (esp. in Sparkle). But, alas nothing will happen in the forseable future with Sparkle, because we are dealing with Microsoft, and Microsoft doesn't deliver on its promises.

    As a rule of thumb... always underestimate Microsoft. Then halve your expectations.

  • User profile image
    jamie

    Bobinho wrote:
    

    As a rule of thumb... always underestimate Microsoft. Then halve your expectations.



    wow.
    Sad

  • User profile image
    Arran

    W3bbo wrote:
    If Microsoft wants their Expression suite to be popular with the designers of the future, they are going to have to let it work its way around the warez sites, it's why Dreamweaver and Photoshop are so popular. If "kiddies" can't get used to the software at a young age, what reason do they have to buy it without knowing how to use it?

    It's sad, but true. Name one expensive and popular DCC app that didn't spread like wildfire around sites like Astalavista.


    I agree totally with this.  This is why i think the Express products were a step in the right direction. 

  • User profile image
    Sabot

    I don't agree at all!

    What is it with you students and your pirated software? Don't you pay for anything?

    I downloaded a trial version of Adobe Photoshop off their website for some guys in a Marketing department many years ago and they got to play with it for 30 days ... the PO was signed by day 15!

    Get the trial right, get the price right.

  • User profile image
    Arran

    Its not just about the trial to find software that does the job it says it does.  Its about learning the software, the process and gaining experience.

    Imagine trying to learn the in's and out's of a very expensive piece of software without a corp PO to just buy it for you.

    For the record i am not a student and purchase a large amount of software quite often.  Both for a company and for personal use.  However i can understand how some people would have a lot of difficulty getting access to totally legal software so they can learn and get some experience in order to get a job.  This is why i think products like VS Express and the Unlimited Time Maya (final renders are watermarked) trail are the best way forward and can help a lot more people get experience with these tools.

  • User profile image
    irascian

    Indeed, and Sabot's a lucky man if he can get a corporate purchase order signed off within 30 days - in my experience it can take a LOT longer than that, even when everyone's jumping up and down saying "We need this software even though it's not on your official software list".

    Maya's approach is excellent. And for developers I really like ComponentArt's approach where you can use their controls without a time-limit but there is a nag screen that pops up every now and then which would stop you deploying to a production web site - really gives you a chance to learn the stuff, develop using it and make the decision when you're ready to purchase the license.

  • User profile image
    Sourcecode

    <Partial Rant>

    I’ve been talking to a couple of web page designers I know, and let me tell you they are not at all happy with MS. Why ? Microsoft always plays 2 sides of the coin.

    An example in this space. They are about to launch a free product (Office Live)  that let’s any person/business create their own web site, and host it for free. The other side of the coin is trying to push Expression onto web designers.

    So the general statement whether intentional or not is… Come use our products instead of Adobes (insert others here) to design your sites for your clients, but we are just about to launch a product that let’s your clients do it themselves, effectively taking allot of business from you, and making the sale much, much harder.

    It’s like selling Photoshop, and providing the world with a free icon/logo creation service at the same time.

    That said I know if I was a web designer I would refuse to use Expression just for that reason.

    The programming side of MS is not that bad *yet* but we have been down the path part way. Moral of the story quite trying to have your cake and eat it too.

    It’s of course different for Google as they aren’t doing that. Sure the online site creation is limited to what you can create, but 80% of all web sites are 7 page sites of really basic stuff.

    Ms is definitely biting the hands that feed them.

    Just looking at this scenario (and it’s not the only one), It would seem to me that there is a huge lack in internal coordination, and communication within MS.

    Did nobody in marketing think that this might be a problem for the future of Expression?

    </Partial Rant>

    I give Expression a couple of years with very few sales, until it fades off into the pile of worthless, and wasted effort.

    It looks like a great product, but you need much more then that to sell it. 20% Development 80% execution. The 80% is off to a really unfortunate start.

  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    irascian wrote:
    Maya's approach is excellent.


    Agreed, their academic license version (with less EULA restrictions than 3DS's) is only £350, that's a very attractive price for students, considering it usually costs £5,000 (if not more)

    ...and also why Maya is harder to find on t'internet Wink, then again, try searching for 3D tutorials, 90% of the time they're for 3DS.

  • User profile image
    Cornelius Ellsonpeter

    W3bbo wrote:
    ...and also why Maya is harder to find on t'internet , then again, try searching for 3D tutorials, 90% of the time they're for 3DS.
    Blender rocks, that's all I have to say. Right now, I don't even care about Maya anymore (never used it, although I wanted to at one point). I can't wait to start messing with its animation feature set in Blender. And it supposedly will import Maya/3DS formats! They used to have a browser plug-in, too, but I believe it was discontinued.

    Sad

  • User profile image
    irascian

    W3bbo wrote:
    
    irascian wrote: Maya's approach is excellent.


    Agreed, their academic license version (with less EULA restrictions than 3DS's) is only £350, that's a very attractive price for students, considering it usually costs £5,000 (if not more)

    ...and also why Maya is harder to find on t'internet , then again, try searching for 3D tutorials, 90% of the time they're for 3DS.


    Their "watermark" version was even cheaper than that: £50 - or was with Maya 5. They have some very good training books and DVDs if you can afford them.

  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    irascian wrote:
    Their "watermark" version was even cheaper than that: £50 - or was with Maya 5. They have some very good training books and DVDs if you can afford them.


    The "watermark" version has been free since 2002 at least, it's called "Personal Learning Edition"

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