Thursday, June 4, 2009

Introducing Expression Blend

Microsoft® Expression Blend™ (formerly known as Expression Interactive Designer) is a professional design tool offered by Microsoft to create highly interactive media rich WPF applications. The tool blurs the distinction between desktop and web applications to provide a better UX (user experience) and high productivity.

Why Do I Use Expression Blend

Blend provides the best of desktop and web applications by blending content, media and text to create compelling Live Windows Experiences. Some features of Blend are:

· Support for 3D and media types, to incorporate vector art, text, video, audio, images and real-time animation tools.

· Real-time modern visual interface to build complicated layouts.

· Ability to integrate data sources and import external resources.

· Fully customizable and reusable controls.

· Efficient collaboration with Visual Studio 2005 to share projects and allow designers and developers to work efficiently as a team.

System Requirements

The minimum requirements for Expression Blend are as follows :

· Operating System: Windows XP SP2 / Windows Vista

· Processor: 1.0 GHZ Intel or AMD processor with MMX or equivalent

· Memory: Minimum 512 MB RAM (1 GB is recommended)

· HDD: 350 MB

· Video Card : Graphic processor with DirectX® capability

· Display: 1024 * 768 monitor resolution with 24-bit color

Downloading and Installing Expression Blend

Let us take a look of how we can download and install Expression Blend. To do so, browse to the url

Expression Blend Installation Location

As shown above, the installation is shown for both Vista and XP. When installing on XP, you will need to install .NET Framework 3.0 which is otherwise natively integrated with the Windows Vista OS.

Note : In order to edit code behind file (.cs or .vb), you will need Visual Studio 2005 installed on your machine. Expression Blend does not provide the feature of editing code behind files.

Clicking on the ‘Download and install Expression Blend (25.5 MB)’ link, takes you to the download page as shown below.

This page also contains the Installation Instructions and System Requirements along with a few other useful links.

Well that is it. The installation is pretty simple and once you have Expression Blend installed, let us dive into this wonderful tool to create our next-gen UX applications.


That was a whirlwind tour of getting started with Expression Blend. In the coming articles, we will explore the interface of Expression Blend. We will also dive into the details of creating projects and utilizing the tools provided in Blend to create the next generation user interface.

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