Thursday, August 10, 2006

FrontPage Will No Longer Be Updated by Microsoft

Now that I've gotten you hooked on FrontPage, let me give you the bad news. Microsoft, in its infinite wisdom, will make no new versions of FrontPage. 2003 is the last one. Finally, they got the product right, now they've decided to ditch it. Much like their decision to stop developing IE after v.6 (a decision that was - fortunately - rescinded due to consumer backlash), Microsoft has, without thought to the consumer, decided to stop developing this product.

Instead, they offer you one of two products that are beyond lousy for the average library user:

  1. Microsoft® Office SharePoint® Designer 2007: Automate your business processes and build efficient applications on top of the SharePoint platform, and tailor your SharePoint® site to your needs in an IT-managed environment.
  2. Microsoft® Expression™ Web Designer: Take advantage of the best of dynamic Web site design, enabling you to design, develop, and maintain exceptional standards-based Web sites.
#1 requires an expensive SharePoint server - something designed for medium sized business enterprises & above, due to its excessive cost of ownership (not just software and dedicated server, but SharePoint sys admins/developers)
#2 is just ugly - its user-interface is missing the kind of interface wizards that made it painless for FP masters to create forms and interfaces into Access databases (perhaps its most advanced & useful feature)... I don't even know if it supports those great .dwt (templates) that I lauded in my last point.

Well, I plan to protest this ridiculous decision, but meanwhile, don't panic, FP03 won't be out of support for several years, by which time, you should have been able to (find the $ to) switch over to the apparently friendlier-to-libraries Adobe/Macromedia (Dreamweaver) suite of web design products.

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