I am not a fan of the visual designers and prefer to create UI by writing XAML code instead of dragging and dropping the controls. But from time to time I launch Expression Blend to create some animations, gradients or complex styles and I have to admit that Blend is a wonderful tool. Many developers like it. From the other side, Blend was created in the first place for the designers, not for the developers and from this point of view Blend is a failure. I have seen several attempts to teach UX experts to use Blend for sketching and designing and most of them failed. For the designers the learning curve is too steep, many features require some software development knowledge to use them properly.

During the BUILD conference Microsoft presented Expression Blend 5 Developer Preview that supports HTML only. Visual Studio 11 includes an improved XAML designer and some panels and controls that will look familiar for the Blend users but there is no any information on a standalone Blend for XAML. Taking into account that the whole BUILD event was designed to attract JavaScript/HTML developers and the preview status of the tools, I stayed calm waiting for the news. Until now.

Microsoft Advertising SDK for Windows 8 documentation includes an interesting table comparing the functionality available right now in a Preview Release with the features of a “Formal Launch”.

One row catches my eye:

Is it an answer for the question about the future of Blend for XAML or just an inaccuracy of the documentation?

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