Down the Expression memory lane...

Last Friday, we reached a major milestone in our quest to win the hearts and minds of creative designers with the RTM (Release to Manufacturing) of the first edition of Expression Studio. It has been a very interesting journey so far with a lot of twists and turns. Like always, it is a journey and the future looks even more exciting.

It all started with 2 basic premises:

· Creative designers are a critical part of building the next generation user experiences. As a result, we see designers and developers needing to work more collaboratively than ever before.

· We need great tools support as we build the next generation presentation platform.

As we were starting to work on Windows Presentation Foundation several years ago, we also started an incubation to build a tool which has since then grown to be Expression Studio. I have had a chance to experience and learn a number of valuable lessons along the way. Here are a few of them:

1) Understand your customer and build an experience that is both targeted and relevant for them. For those of you who have seen the earliest CTPs of some of these tools and the UI that we had, you will understand what I am talking about.

2) When you are building a team, take the time to bring in the right people on board and don’t compromise.

3) Be very thoughtful about when you are incubating something and when you make the transition to productize the same. This is a statement of goals, a statement of priorities, a statement of customer scenarios that you want to enable, a statement of resource allocation and a statement of time to market. In other words, you need to be intentional and nurturing along the way.

4) Let the experts do their job. Put the right person in the right job, empower them and enable them to do their best.

I do want to thank the team for doing an amazing job on delivering a great set of tools with Expression Studio. Onwards to the next phase of the Expression journey!