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Microsoft Expression Web, code-named Quartz, is an HTML editor and general web design program by Microsoft. It is part of the Expression Studio suite. It is not considered by Microsoft to be a WYSIWYG editor[1], nor is it touted as such. The EW community FAQ describes EW as an HTML editor that "is designed to make quality, standards-compliant websites that display properly on all browsers."[1]

Expression Web can design and develop web pages using XML, CSS 2.1, ASP.NET or ASP.NET AJAX, XHTML, XSLT, PHP and JavaScript. EW4 requires the .NET Framework 4.0 and Silverlight 4.0 to install and run.[2]. Microsoft SharePoint Designer provides related Microsoft technology. It offers Visual Studio support for ASP.NET applications. It has some legacy support for classic ASP. Expression Web uses its own standards-based rendering engine which is different from Internet Explorer's Trident engine.

Microsoft Expression Web provides the ability to install add-ons from third-party developers, extending its capabilities.

Version History

Microsoft Expression Web
On May 14, 2006, Microsoft released the first Community Technology Preview version of Expression Web. On September 5, 2006, Microsoft released Beta 1. The major change from CTP 1 was that most of the old FrontPage bots, parts, functions and non-standard features were removed. The Release To Manufacturing version was made available on December 4, 2006.
Microsoft Expression Web 2
Microsoft Expression Web 2 was released in 2008.[3] Expression Web 2 offers native support for PHP and Silverlight.
Microsoft Expression Web 3
Microsoft Expression Web 3 was released in 2009.[4] It featured an updated front-end UI written in WPF, in line with the rest of the Expression Suite, and included the Expression Web 3 SuperPreview tool, for comparing and rendering of webpage in various different browsers.
Microsoft Expression Web 4
Microsoft Expression Web 4 was released on June 7, 2010.[5] It added the option of HTML add-ins, and access to a web-based SuperPreview functionality, for testing pages on browsers that cannot be installed on the users system (such as Mac OS X or Linux browsers). EW4 also provides an SEO Checker[6] which analyzes your site against the best practices for getting the highest possible search-engine rankings for your site.


Both PC Magazine's Edward Mendelson and PC Pro's Tom Arah rated Expression Web 2 four stars (out of 5 and out of 6 respectively). "It largely succeeded by concentrating on providing standards-compliant support for the web's core markup languages, (X)HTML and CSS," Arah concluded.[7]

PC Magazine labeled it as a more cost-effective option compared to the main competitor, Adobe Dreamweaver. "Even if money is no object, Expression Web 2 might be your better choice," Editor Edward Mendelson wrote.[8]

However, PC Magazine criticized a lack of "Secure FTP in its Web-publishing functions" and "the ability to create browser-based (as opposed to server-based) scripting of dynamic pages that works in all browsers, including Safari". On the other hand, PC Magazine noted that "most designers won't care about their absence".[8] Microsoft Expression 3 now supports SFTP and FTPS[9].

Also noted was the lack of support for root relative links, links that start with a "/" to refer to the root of a web server. This feature was added with Expression 3 Service Pack 1.[10]



Releases of Microsoft Expression Web
Version and Build Date
4017.1004 CTP 1 May 14, 2006
4518 RTM December 4, 2006
2008.1200.4518.1084 RTM May 1, 2008
4.0.1165.0 RTM June 7, 2010

Microsoft Store

For many countries, it is not possible to buy and download this product from Microsoft Store due to geographical limits. Local on-line stores are also often not available, and only a shrink-wrapped version is an option.

See also

Notes and references

External links

Microsoft Expression Web Links

Third Party Expression Web Links

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