Microsoft Expression Studio 4 Ultimate is a suite of applications that enables you to design and build both web and Windows desktop applications.

The suite includes Microsoft Expression Web, a professional web design tool with in-depth support for HTML, CSS, JavaScript and PHP. Drag and drop controls allow you to add Silverlight, Flash, DeepZoom or Windows Media files with ease. And when you're finished, the program can put your files online via FTP, SFTP or FTPS, or even directly edit files on the server for extra speed.

You also get Expression Blend and SketchFlow, powerful design and rapid prototyping tools that will help you quickly build gorgeous interfaces for both Windows Presentation Foundation and Silverlight applications.

Microsoft Expression Design is a full-featured vector and bitmap graphics editor, now enhanced by the ability to import Windows Metafile (WMF), Enhanced Metafile (EMF), and Enhanced Metafile Plus (EMF+) files.

And Expression Encoder 4 Pro can encode top quality videos for devices or the web. You're able to use VC-1 or H.264 codecs, and the program even includes a screen capture tool to assist in building training tools or application demos.

Verdict

A powerful, if rather costly development suite with some exceptional design tools