There's been a little buzz in recent weeks about the possibility that SharePoint Designer 2007 -- Microsoft's reincarnation of FrontPage -- would become a free product. Well that buzz has been officially confirmed.
As of April 1, 2009, SharePoint Designer 2007 can be downloaded for free. According to Microsoft, offering the Designer free is their way of promoting continued custom development on the SharePoint platform.
Many customers saw the Designer as a natural extension of SharePoint and they wanted to use it to create dynamic websites on SharePoint.
SharePoint Designer is a product that puts a lot of power into the hands of power users, along with developers. So you may want to think carefully before you unleash it to your organization. If you do want to understand ways to lock down where and how the Designer can be used, read this blog post from the MSDN SharePoint Designer Team Blog.
All future releases of SharePoint Designer will also be free, including the new version expected to come with the next version of SharePoint.
For those customers who have SharePoint Designer as part of their Software Assurance Package, as compensation for it now being free, they will be granted rights to Expression Web.
You can download your free copy here and learn everything you need to know about SharePoint Designer 2007 on its website. Also, watch this interview with Tom Rizzo,Sr. Director of Product Management for SharePoint, on why they have made this move and what it means to you.