Essential MS Subscription for Mac-aphile Designers

Are you a design & mac user in a Windows Development Shop? Are they eyeing your Mac and measuring your desk to outfit you with a new PC? Over your cold dead corpse I bet. No worries. You owe it to yourself to check out the Microsoft Expression Professional Subscription.  Yeah, you could run Bootcamp but then you'd loose the OS X & Quicksilver goodness while you paid the bills.

This annual subscription's most important piece of software isn't made by MS: Parallels Desktop for Mac. Parallels will let you run Windows Vista or Windows XP (also included with the subscription) without leaving OS X - better yet with Expose, your desktop will be unified. And with the SmartSelect feature, you'll be opening Mac or Windows files in the OS of your choice automatically. Edit XAML files in Expression Blend (also include) in Windows, but open JPEG's in Photoshop in OS X - regardless from which OS you launched the file from. Very cool.

Here's the complete list of included software

                • Expression® Studio
                  Which includes Expression Web for aspx/css/html stuff, Blend for WPF/Silverlight/XAML stuff,  Expression Design for illustrations & graphics, Expression Encoder for media encoding, and Expression Media for asset management.
                • Visual Studio® Standard
                  Just in case the .NET guys make you check stuff into source control.
                • Office Standard
                • Office Visio® Professional
                  For those workflow diagrams and ugly mock ups that the dev guys send you.
                • Windows® XP
                • Windows Vista® Business Edition
                • Virtual PC
                • Parallels Desktop for Mac

And just to make things even easier, they've already included some pre-configured virtualized servers in the box as well - that will save you some time. Current pricing is about $1000 USD for the first year. This won't be available for a few weeks, but visit here to learn more.

And if you're trying to learn more about WPF and Silverlight, check out our new Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) for Developers & Designers course. Rob Burke, our User Experience (UX) practice lead talks more about this course here. And finally, check out Rob Windsor's post on our Summer Seat Sale to learn how to save up to $500 on our training this summer.