SharePoint Designer, Free as in Beer

freeasinbeer I caught a couple of blog posts from here and here that had to make me do a double take. I’m not one for relaying gossip, but this information seems to be legit. As of April 1, 2009 SharePoint Designer will be free. Now if you go to the “official” site there’s no mention of it however I’m hearing through the grapevine it’s true. The official site even has a “buy it today” option, so you might want to hold off on that.

Of course April 1st is always a fun time for me and the blog-o-sphere so the fact this announcement is targeted for that particular date has to make you think. Like I said, every indication I have says it’s true. It’s a wee bit confusing because David McNamee mentioned it in Michael Ganotti's Webcast saying it would be available in April for free from the MS Download site, and the next version will be free for people who purchase the next version of SharePoint. Huh? To me that doesn’t mean “free” but rather “buy one, get one free”.

In any case watch the skies and keep an eye out on April 1st for the download. This doesn’t mean it’s killing off SharePoint Designer like it did with FoxPro. Rather just making it more accessible for everyone and hey, the more tools the better right?


  • Hmmm. Is this a good thing? SPD has so many problems, it makes me wonder if it's going to be supported. I'd rather they make it a codeplex project.

  • With the date I would not be putting any money on it. If they said they would including it with the next version of the MS-Office package would defiantly believe.

  • I believe he said that it'll be a free download on Microsoft's Site. I didn't hear the Buy SP14 get SPD for free part

  • I heard this at a London SharePoint User Group session when Micheal Noel was over doing his infrastructure stand up gig. Sounds pretty sweet, although watch out admins, SPD can be 'pretty neat fun' in users hands, which may lead to some pretty interesting support calls.

  • This will be great for the SharePoint community. Those setting corporate intranet guidance will have some learning to do when this powerful tool is in everyone's hands. But, once they do, branding and data access will never be the same on corporate intranets.

  • SPD is easily the worst piece of software every to "grace" my desktop. Riddled with bugs, it has royally screwed up and corrupted sites too many times for me to count. Most of its "features" don't work, or are so flaky that you can't rely on them. Add to the mix it's horrendously slow at rendering even the simplest changes to your page in design absolute train wreck.

  • I think this is a capitalism success story. Prices will stabilize on true market value when the market is a free one.

    "branding and data access will never be the same on corporate intranets."

    This comment is awesome.

  • So ... any updates on the veracity of this?

  • April 2 is the date...

  • April 1... ok I get it.

  • I had installed the trial version released today - it didn't ask for a product key and it seems to be already activated. That is free enough for me.

  • I really don't think Steve Ballmer is the April fools type.

    Hopefully this is indeed real. If it isn't, I can always stick with Dreamweaver 8.

  • I've had an old Trial version of SPD. I uninstalled it and installed the new one, downloaded today and it works just great.
    The title of the page is "SharePoint Designer 2007 - Use Key: JB28C2...".
    Seems pretty free to me.

  • is totally free

  • As a consolation prize, you get Expression Web if you already purchased SPD (like I did a month ago).

    If it's as crash riddled, unreliable and quirky (search 'Error reading file'), they can keep it. I'll stick to industry standard web design products made by Adobe.

    SPD sux whether it's free or not.

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