John Dvorak is wrong again — this time about “death” of FrontPage

He says blogging killed FrontPage.

The thing that really killed FrontPage? Microsoft’s marketing team tested the name on a range of developers and Web designers/builders. They all derided it. The marketers learned there was no way they were going to be able to continue with the FrontPage brand. So they killed the brand.

Does the code live on? Yes. Sorta.

The Microsoft Expression Web product is really a continuation of FrontPage. But it’s been totally rebuilt. Why? Cause FrontPage had a reputation for changing code, for not respecting standards, and for forcing its own style on the development team. Those problems are all gone now.

You can see the new Expression Web demoed and meet the team in interviews on ScobleShow.

Anyway, it’s time to go get dressed for Chris and Ponzi’s wedding. I hear their vows will appear on Chris’ blog at about the same time that he and Ponzi are saying them to each other.

I’m not going to blog, but Jake Ludington and I were thinking about how we could stream video. We won’t know if that’s possible until we get to the place and see if there’s any good Wifi. Either way, you’ll get a report later.

UPDATE: there’s more over on Digg. The comments there are a good example of why I don’t get much value from Digg. Too much noise and very little knowledge.

Comments

  1. Also, the Office 2007 Sharepoint Designer looks suspiciously like the old Frontpage application.

    It may very well be a different app but the look&feel seems similar.

  2. Also, the Office 2007 Sharepoint Designer looks suspiciously like the old Frontpage application.

    It may very well be a different app but the look&feel seems similar.

  3. Larry has it right on the mark. As FrontPage evolved more in to a SharePoint focused tool, and they reworte the code base to be common with Visual Studio that is really where FrontPage lives today. It is amazing though how sometimes tech writers can so so off base, or maybe just fishing for something to write about. The new Expression is really it’s own animal as well (along with Expression Design and Expression Web). These three are clearly targeted at the Adobe/Macromedia web stack which are tremendous products with a huge following. Given that many independent web designers used FrontPage, now SharePoint Designer, it would seem they are stressing Expression Web as its FrontPage’s follow-on as the products that fills that gap. Mostly semantics but I am glad to see Microsoft really creating some good product finally in this space as competion on the web design front will only be good for everyone, nost especially content consumers.
    Michael

  4. Larry has it right on the mark. As FrontPage evolved more in to a SharePoint focused tool, and they reworte the code base to be common with Visual Studio that is really where FrontPage lives today. It is amazing though how sometimes tech writers can so so off base, or maybe just fishing for something to write about. The new Expression is really it’s own animal as well (along with Expression Design and Expression Web). These three are clearly targeted at the Adobe/Macromedia web stack which are tremendous products with a huge following. Given that many independent web designers used FrontPage, now SharePoint Designer, it would seem they are stressing Expression Web as its FrontPage’s follow-on as the products that fills that gap. Mostly semantics but I am glad to see Microsoft really creating some good product finally in this space as competion on the web design front will only be good for everyone, nost especially content consumers.
    Michael

  5. [...] Former Microsoft technical evangelist Robert Scoble also commented over at Scobleizer on Dvorak’s post. His December 9, 2006, commentary is headlined ”John Dvorak is wrong again — this time about “death” of FrontPage. He says blogging killed FrontPage. Scoble wrote: The thing that really killed FrontPage? Microsoft’s marketing team tested the name on a range of developers and Web designers/builders. They all derided it. The marketers learned there was no way they were going to be able to continue with the FrontPage brand. So they killed the brand. [...]

  6. “Does the code live on? Yes. Sorta. The Microsoft Expression Web product is really a continuation of FrontPage.”

    Dude, you just killed Sparkle, um, Bland, um, The Microsoft Expression Web product. It was probably a mercy killing anyway.

  7. “Does the code live on? Yes. Sorta. The Microsoft Expression Web product is really a continuation of FrontPage.”

    Dude, you just killed Sparkle, um, Bland, um, The Microsoft Expression Web product. It was probably a mercy killing anyway.

  8. Since you use Verizon for Internet, you may want to listen to this.

    The people at Verizon never learnt math I guess. This is the worst kind of customer service ever known to mankind.

  9. Since you use Verizon for Internet, you may want to listen to this.

    The people at Verizon never learnt math I guess. This is the worst kind of customer service ever known to mankind.

  10. Wait, Expression is creating competition?

    Well, if the only OS you count is Windows, I suppose.

    Outside of Windows, Expression’s doing nothing. Oh yes, I know, it creates cross platform code. Well, by Microsoft’s definition. Of course, Microsoft can’t even create cross-platform code in house, for its own divisions. So pardon my skepticism on Microsoft’s new “interop” religion. But then, the results of the Sun dog and pony show, and Ballmer threatening to sue Linux users because “all Linux is stealing Microsoft IP” might have something to do with that. And the continued vapor status of WPF/E.

  11. Wait, Expression is creating competition?

    Well, if the only OS you count is Windows, I suppose.

    Outside of Windows, Expression’s doing nothing. Oh yes, I know, it creates cross platform code. Well, by Microsoft’s definition. Of course, Microsoft can’t even create cross-platform code in house, for its own divisions. So pardon my skepticism on Microsoft’s new “interop” religion. But then, the results of the Sun dog and pony show, and Ballmer threatening to sue Linux users because “all Linux is stealing Microsoft IP” might have something to do with that. And the continued vapor status of WPF/E.

  12. Not get any value from Digg? Haha, every honest person who’s ever used Digg has to agree with that. What a joke it is. The ONLY value it’s ever brought to the web was as a nerdish news aggregator. I used to visit several times a day just to see what was interesting. Now with each passing day there’s more garbage content, stupid videos, etc. that reduce its worth and use to me evermore. Last week Digg left my favorites, now I type in the url on the rare bored occassion. Soon I won’t even bother with that.

    Frontpage? Man, that thing needed bigtime help. The only thing that produced worse html was the Office suite of programs. I hope the Expression team has turned it around.

  13. Not get any value from Digg? Haha, every honest person who’s ever used Digg has to agree with that. What a joke it is. The ONLY value it’s ever brought to the web was as a nerdish news aggregator. I used to visit several times a day just to see what was interesting. Now with each passing day there’s more garbage content, stupid videos, etc. that reduce its worth and use to me evermore. Last week Digg left my favorites, now I type in the url on the rare bored occassion. Soon I won’t even bother with that.

    Frontpage? Man, that thing needed bigtime help. The only thing that produced worse html was the Office suite of programs. I hope the Expression team has turned it around.

  14. Well, technically, if you follow the link, it’s the Inquirer, not Dvorak, who’s wrong. A lot of their assertions seem to stem from the assumption that Frontpage was targeted towards ordinary users, whereas Sharepoint Designer and Expression Web are for professionals. While that was certainly true for early versions of Frontpage, my understanding is that the last few revs were focused on professionals.

  15. Well, technically, if you follow the link, it’s the Inquirer, not Dvorak, who’s wrong. A lot of their assertions seem to stem from the assumption that Frontpage was targeted towards ordinary users, whereas Sharepoint Designer and Expression Web are for professionals. While that was certainly true for early versions of Frontpage, my understanding is that the last few revs were focused on professionals.

  16. Robert,

    For the sake of your ego and self-esteem, don’t even start on the journey you’re thinking of. You’ve not the tech chops to do this, so stop, or I’ll treat you like Sven On Crack..er Tech.

    Running Expression on a Mac in a Windows VM is not the same thing as Expression being a cross-platform dev application. I know that you come from the online school of journalism that says “Accuracy and correctness are unimportant compared with Google and Meme rankings”, but that still does not mean everything is exactly the same.

    Parallels is a fantastic product, but it’s not convenient. It costs eighty bucks as a product, then you’re paying a hundred or more for a copy of XP, or more for a copy of Vista that you’re allowed to run in a VM, then whatever costs are associated with Expressions, if any.

    That’s not a cross platform environment. It’s still windows. Even if you run it in Crossover Mac, it’s still a Windows application. It offers no, none, zero integration with Mac OS X. It works differently than Mac OS X applications. A cross platform web dev environment is something like GoLive, Dreamweaver, or Emacs if you will.

    I know that regardless of where you work, you’ll never stop being a Microsoft cheerleader, but if you’re trying to tell me that Microsoft has the interop religion, then you better show me real products and real work, not some lamer techfanboy bullshit about “It runs in parallels, so it’s cross platform”. Please. That might work with your crowd, but you try that in mine, and you’re going to get laughed up into Oregon.

  17. Robert,

    For the sake of your ego and self-esteem, don’t even start on the journey you’re thinking of. You’ve not the tech chops to do this, so stop, or I’ll treat you like Sven On Crack..er Tech.

    Running Expression on a Mac in a Windows VM is not the same thing as Expression being a cross-platform dev application. I know that you come from the online school of journalism that says “Accuracy and correctness are unimportant compared with Google and Meme rankings”, but that still does not mean everything is exactly the same.

    Parallels is a fantastic product, but it’s not convenient. It costs eighty bucks as a product, then you’re paying a hundred or more for a copy of XP, or more for a copy of Vista that you’re allowed to run in a VM, then whatever costs are associated with Expressions, if any.

    That’s not a cross platform environment. It’s still windows. Even if you run it in Crossover Mac, it’s still a Windows application. It offers no, none, zero integration with Mac OS X. It works differently than Mac OS X applications. A cross platform web dev environment is something like GoLive, Dreamweaver, or Emacs if you will.

    I know that regardless of where you work, you’ll never stop being a Microsoft cheerleader, but if you’re trying to tell me that Microsoft has the interop religion, then you better show me real products and real work, not some lamer techfanboy bullshit about “It runs in parallels, so it’s cross platform”. Please. That might work with your crowd, but you try that in mine, and you’re going to get laughed up into Oregon.

  18. John,

    You seem to equivocating interopability and portablity. So we’re on the same page, my understanding is that interoperability means a means a product is able to accept input and create output that other products can understand and work with. Portability, on the other hand, means simply the a single product is able to run on more than one platform (usually meaning operating systems or CPU architectures).

    Expression Web isn’t portable, but it makes great strides in interop by leading designers to build more standards-based solutions.

  19. John,

    You seem to equivocating interopability and portablity. So we’re on the same page, my understanding is that interoperability means a means a product is able to accept input and create output that other products can understand and work with. Portability, on the other hand, means simply the a single product is able to run on more than one platform (usually meaning operating systems or CPU architectures).

    Expression Web isn’t portable, but it makes great strides in interop by leading designers to build more standards-based solutions.

  20. “The comments there are a good example of why I don’t get much value from Digg. Too much noise and very little knowledge.”

    Which is why you should never actually read the comments on Digg. Just check out the links :)

  21. “The comments there are a good example of why I don’t get much value from Digg. Too much noise and very little knowledge.”

    Which is why you should never actually read the comments on Digg. Just check out the links :)

  22. I hear their vows will appear on Chris’ blog at about the same time that he and Ponzi are saying them to each other.

    Best use of WordPress’ future-posting ability EVER. Well, until someone uses it to write something from beyond the grave… that might top it.

  23. I hear their vows will appear on Chris’ blog at about the same time that he and Ponzi are saying them to each other.

    Best use of WordPress’ future-posting ability EVER. Well, until someone uses it to write something from beyond the grave… that might top it.

  24. i’m downloading the beta right now. be back to post my experience with this ‘new tool’. hopefully it will live up to the expectations… ;)

  25. i’m downloading the beta right now. be back to post my experience with this ‘new tool’. hopefully it will live up to the expectations… ;)

  26. Looks like I need to look into Expressions. I found front page to be a wretch. oddly, I am quite happy with MS Word for Web editing, but I’m just an Oracle guy so what do I know.

    As an aside, I wonder if people blog divorces. There are nearly as many of them.

  27. Looks like I need to look into Expressions. I found front page to be a wretch. oddly, I am quite happy with MS Word for Web editing, but I’m just an Oracle guy so what do I know.

    As an aside, I wonder if people blog divorces. There are nearly as many of them.

  28. I agree with Guy. There’s no value in reading the Digg comments. I just use it as a place where I jump-off to get to the core of the post. Not the inane comments in Digg itself. Same goes with Slashdot.

  29. I agree with Guy. There’s no value in reading the Digg comments. I just use it as a place where I jump-off to get to the core of the post. Not the inane comments in Digg itself. Same goes with Slashdot.

  30. FrontPage is no longer the first web page builder. Dreamweaver is better. But, frontpage remains good for beginers and no experts … Personally, I prefer writing html on notepad than using FrontPage.

  31. FrontPage is no longer the first web page builder. Dreamweaver is better. But, frontpage remains good for beginers and no experts … Personally, I prefer writing html on notepad than using FrontPage.

  32. The guy makes a living off being wrong… If he just echoed what everone else was saying, we would have forgotten about Dvorak a long time ago…

  33. The guy makes a living off being wrong… If he just echoed what everone else was saying, we would have forgotten about Dvorak a long time ago…

  34. Thanks for the highlight.

    The part I was not able to catch, is what hosting platforms will handle this. Does the use of the standards imply that those nice cheap hosting solutions like godaddy who support frontpage extensions and the like will support this type of site or are we talking only ASP.net hosters?

  35. Thanks for the highlight.

    The part I was not able to catch, is what hosting platforms will handle this. Does the use of the standards imply that those nice cheap hosting solutions like godaddy who support frontpage extensions and the like will support this type of site or are we talking only ASP.net hosters?

  36. Larry is right – FrontPage became the Sharepoint Designer. Obviously, for non-Sharepoint development, Expression Web is taking over as the premier design tool for web developers.

    Also, I found FrontPage 2003 to be a great HTML and XML editor. That’s ignoring the WYSIWYG design portion, of course. Clearly Visual Studio does that just as well, but not everybody has that.

  37. Larry is right – FrontPage became the Sharepoint Designer. Obviously, for non-Sharepoint development, Expression Web is taking over as the premier design tool for web developers.

    Also, I found FrontPage 2003 to be a great HTML and XML editor. That’s ignoring the WYSIWYG design portion, of course. Clearly Visual Studio does that just as well, but not everybody has that.

  38. > The Microsoft Expression Web product is really a continuation of FrontPage. But it’s been totally rebuilt.

    Kinda contradictory. Then, when a “program” is actually killed?

  39. > The Microsoft Expression Web product is really a continuation of FrontPage. But it’s been totally rebuilt.

    Kinda contradictory. Then, when a “program” is actually killed?

  40. Expression Web isn’t portable, but it makes great strides in interop by leading designers to build more standards-based solutions.

    Right. Microsoft pushing solutions that don’t bind you to windows. Again Bryan, when I see it happening on a regular basis, consistently across the board. Not just one division, but ALL OF THEM, I’ll buy it. Don’t forget, I’ve heard Microsoft play this song before, and I know how it ended.

    John – The Community Technology Preview of “WPF/E” was released (for Windows and Mac) last week: http://www.microsoft.com/wpfe

    And let’s read the FAQ, shall we?

    Hmm…you can only design WPF/E content on WIndows. That’s handy. Not really, but Microsoft said this when they first announced it. No suprises there.

    The CTP release will support Windows Media Audio and Video 9 (WMV and WMA) and popular profiles of the SMPTE-standard VC-1 codec. When we release the final version, MP3 audio will also be supported. Additional formats will be available at final release based on customer feedback.

    How handy, they’ll “let” it support MP3 too. Gee, how…open.

    Will “WPF/E” support DRM? What about on devices?

    Microsoft will support content protection as an option set by content providers and is actively investigating customer requirements for rights management for a variety of scenarios.

    Wanna bet it won’t support anything that WiMP on the Mac didn’t support?

    I also see that Microsoft is really loving their new, even stupider license:

    “You may not
    • disclose the results of any benchmark tests of the software to any third party without Microsoft’s prior written approval;
    • work around any technical limitations in the software;”

    Can SOMEONE explain to me what the HELL “you may not work around technical limitations in the software” means?

    Why does a PLUGIN that goes in a directory that I have full access to require a root login. Wait, Microsoft, no clue, never mind.

    It doesn’t work in Firefox 2.0:

    “You must be running Firefox 1.5.0.8 to view “WPF/E” content on this page. Visit the “WPF/E” product site for more details.”

    Good job there. Way to go.

    But then, there were betas of Active X Mac. It’s a nice start, and honestly, more than I expected from the WIndows team. But it isn’t done yet. As well, you have to use Windows to develop this?

    Oy.

  41. Expression Web isn’t portable, but it makes great strides in interop by leading designers to build more standards-based solutions.

    Right. Microsoft pushing solutions that don’t bind you to windows. Again Bryan, when I see it happening on a regular basis, consistently across the board. Not just one division, but ALL OF THEM, I’ll buy it. Don’t forget, I’ve heard Microsoft play this song before, and I know how it ended.

    John – The Community Technology Preview of “WPF/E” was released (for Windows and Mac) last week: http://www.microsoft.com/wpfe

    And let’s read the FAQ, shall we?

    Hmm…you can only design WPF/E content on WIndows. That’s handy. Not really, but Microsoft said this when they first announced it. No suprises there.

    The CTP release will support Windows Media Audio and Video 9 (WMV and WMA) and popular profiles of the SMPTE-standard VC-1 codec. When we release the final version, MP3 audio will also be supported. Additional formats will be available at final release based on customer feedback.

    How handy, they’ll “let” it support MP3 too. Gee, how…open.

    Will “WPF/E” support DRM? What about on devices?

    Microsoft will support content protection as an option set by content providers and is actively investigating customer requirements for rights management for a variety of scenarios.

    Wanna bet it won’t support anything that WiMP on the Mac didn’t support?

    I also see that Microsoft is really loving their new, even stupider license:

    “You may not
    • disclose the results of any benchmark tests of the software to any third party without Microsoft’s prior written approval;
    • work around any technical limitations in the software;”

    Can SOMEONE explain to me what the HELL “you may not work around technical limitations in the software” means?

    Why does a PLUGIN that goes in a directory that I have full access to require a root login. Wait, Microsoft, no clue, never mind.

    It doesn’t work in Firefox 2.0:

    “You must be running Firefox 1.5.0.8 to view “WPF/E” content on this page. Visit the “WPF/E” product site for more details.”

    Good job there. Way to go.

    But then, there were betas of Active X Mac. It’s a nice start, and honestly, more than I expected from the WIndows team. But it isn’t done yet. As well, you have to use Windows to develop this?

    Oy.

  42. [...] Scoble comments on FrontPage: “The thing that really killed FrontPage? Microsoft’s marketing team tested the name on a range of developers and Web designers/builders. They all derided it. The marketers learned there was no way they were going to be able to continue with the FrontPage brand. So they killed the brand. Does the code live on? Yes. Sorta. The Microsoft Expression Web product is really a continuation of FrontPage. But it’s been totally rebuilt.” [...]

  43. While Microsoft’s marketing may have fired the fatal bullet, the market for personal GeoCities Frontpagey type of sites, did indeed run dry, but it’s not all blogging, MySpace Facebooky-like morphs, played their part too…but it’s all just a natural commodity-market progression. Well, add in the usual Microsoft twiddling and marketing trainwrecks, but in a way, it’s even beyond that, as a simple end of lifecycle; no tears are shed regardless. ;)

    1. GeoCities —> Frontpage
    2. WordPress/Blogger/Wiki/MySpace/Facebook
    /YouTubeisms/Site Specific HTML tools —> no need for an extra ‘webby html code tool’
    3. HTML/XML/Java/Ruby —-> Prosumer to Professional market.

  44. While Microsoft’s marketing may have fired the fatal bullet, the market for personal GeoCities Frontpagey type of sites, did indeed run dry, but it’s not all blogging, MySpace Facebooky-like morphs, played their part too…but it’s all just a natural commodity-market progression. Well, add in the usual Microsoft twiddling and marketing trainwrecks, but in a way, it’s even beyond that, as a simple end of lifecycle; no tears are shed regardless. ;)

    1. GeoCities —> Frontpage
    2. WordPress/Blogger/Wiki/MySpace/Facebook
    /YouTubeisms/Site Specific HTML tools —> no need for an extra ‘webby html code tool’
    3. HTML/XML/Java/Ruby —-> Prosumer to Professional market.

  45. [...] December 15, 2006Web 2.0’s fall from grace. The web has come a long ways in terms of usefulness. The interfaces are much easier and nicer. It is easier to search and share information. But has it become too easy and too mainstream? The comments there are a good example of why I don’t get much value from Digg. Too much noise and very little knowledge. Robert Scoble [...]

  46. Well Front Page is verry good Web Design Tool but I stop to use him 2 years ago and decide to use Dreamweaver. I think that Microsoft decide to finish with front page and send him in pension because they see and understand that Dreamweaver is much more better and spread that FP. If they want to success in this part of software they need to build something new!

  47. Well Front Page is verry good Web Design Tool but I stop to use him 2 years ago and decide to use Dreamweaver. I think that Microsoft decide to finish with front page and send him in pension because they see and understand that Dreamweaver is much more better and spread that FP. If they want to success in this part of software they need to build something new!

  48. I was a bit of a skeptic when I first heard FrontPage was being phased out…until I took a closer look at what was replacing it. Now I know why…and I've see Dreamweaver users take note of the improvements in Web Design thanks to Microsoft and their ingenious ways! Some have called Expression Web and subsequent upgrades as a more affordable version of Dreamweaver CS3/CS4. I'm happy to be able to stick with Microsoft Products such as Expression Web and this is a huge step for them to have made this overhaul – for which I am grateful!

  49. I was a bit of a skeptic when I first heard FrontPage was being phased out…until I took a closer look at what was replacing it. Now I know why…and I've see Dreamweaver users take note of the improvements in Web Design thanks to Microsoft and their ingenious ways! Some have called Expression Web and subsequent upgrades as a more affordable version of Dreamweaver CS3/CS4. I'm happy to be able to stick with Microsoft Products such as Expression Web and this is a huge step for them to have made this overhaul – for which I am grateful!