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Microsoft to give away web design tools

on Tuesday,September 29,2009 17:09

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Software giant Microsoft has sold millions of copies of its successful Windows and Office software, but some of its other offerings, like its Expressions design software intended for use as a web design suite, have been less successful. To help bring designers into its camp, the Seattle-based software company will sell that suite of programs at a reduced price or give it away.

The Expressions software package was intended to draw some marketshare away from industry-leading Adobe Systems, whose Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver and Flash programs are ubiquitous in the web design field. Under the company''s WebsiteSpark program, web design firms with ten employees or less can download Expressions and other software for $100, potentially saving them thousands.

The fee will also entitle them to a great deal of services, including three years of program support for nontechnical issues, a website control panel, and two technical support incidents.

"It''s to jump-start business development opportunities," says Mitra Aziziard, the general manager of developer platform evangelism.

Whether the strategy pays off in wooing new customers, web designers may find that learning to use both Microsoft and Adobe products can help on future projects. These skills could be acquired through an education in web design.

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