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30 Days Into the Trial Period - Probably No Go RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • I think I have given Blend 3 a fair chance.  I have seriously worked with it almost all day, every day for the last month.  I would agree the product has potential, but it is still pretty much a piece of beta software, it behaves unexpectedly.  Like all beta software, it comes without complete documentation and is basically user supported.

    Now MS is rolling out Blend 4 Beta.  Downloaded that, and the installation is a nightmare.  But more importantly, they have not stabilized Blend 3 yet.  It is nothing but the constant promise of future versions possibly correcting problems.  Sure, Blend 4 is Beta and there are bound to be problems, but what is the excuse for the continuing problems in Blend 3?

    To cap it all off I took a look at the pricing to obtain a license key for Blend 3.  I already own a full up to date version of Expression Web 3.  Gee, they are going to upgrade me to Expression Studio for $349.  I already spent $79 for my upgrade to Web 3, which is everything BUT Blend 3.  So, the bottom line is that MS thinks Blend 3 is worth $349.  

    Call me crazy, but I think that a $349 piece of software should have a help file that contains information on all the controls that it uses.  For instance, go in the help and see if you can find anything in the index about the mediaelement control.  Or the frame control, or the textblock, in fact any of them.  Instead, you need to go looking through MSDN and then sift away and try to figure out what applies to your situation.  But picture this, if you are NOT coming from a MS background, none of that makes any sense to you, in fact you do not even know it is there!  How arrogant is that?  To expect that everyone who purchases Blend 3 is going to know that they have to look in several different places to find out about objects that are part of the software they purchased?

    It drove me crazy and I have worked with MS products for over 20 years!

    Pay them $349?  For what?  Testing their lab experiment?  Failing to write complete and accurate documentation that is available from within the application?  I don't think so.  In my opinion, as a PROFESSIONAL programmer, the MSDN method is a miserable attempt at providing information.  It is a bloated dictionary that wastes time.  The only ones who save time and money are Microsoft, the rest of us waste it sifting through page after page mostly irrelevant information.  It is the Swiss Army knife of documentation, and works just about as well.  Looks nice sitting on your dresser.  Too fat to carry in your pocket.

    And yes, I got Blend 3 to do things, but it was like pulling teeth!  I said after three days into Blend "It just shouldn't be this difficult!"  Unfortunately, I am still saying it.  It is going to take a miracle for me to spend $349 on Blend.  In fact, it is going to take a small miracle for me to continue working with it for another 30 days.

    Friday, March 19, 2010 9:15 PM