Microsoft has quietly announced that its Expression suite of Web and design-oriented tools is being killed off and phased out.

Vector graphics drawing tool Expression Design 4 has been end-of-lifed. No new versions will be developed, and it’s no longer for sale. You can now download it for free, and it’ll continue to receive security patches as necessary until at least 2015. Microsoft is offering no replacement or alternative to users of the product.

The same has happened to HTML and CSS authoring tool Expression Web 4. It’s no longer for sale and no new versions will be released, and it’s now available as a free download. Instead of developing Expression Web, Microsoft will continue to extend and improve Visual Studio’s HTML, CSS, and JavaScript capabilities, with the IDE now being the company’s sole actively maintained Web development tool. The SuperPreview Remote service that allowed developers to view their pages in a range of browsers hosted on Microsoft’s servers will operate until the end of June 2013.

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via Ars Technica » Technology Lab