Microsoft will no longer ship its Expression digital asset management software as part of the Expression Studio suite effective with the upcoming Expression Studio 3 release, a company representative said in an email on Wednesday morning.

Instead, Expression Media will be a standalone product marketed to digital photographers, the largest customer base for the product. Expression Media catalogs photos, video, and music. The company also will continue to invest in digital photography, the representative said.

Expression Studio has featured application design tools for Windows and Web interfaces. It has been closely linked with the company's Silverlight rich Internet application technology. The company has planned a July 10 launch event for Expression Studio 3 and Silverlight 3.

"Expression Media is focused on the higher end digital photography market, while the Expression Studio is focused on developers and creative professionals involved in the production of rich interactive experiences rather than photography. As such, it no longer makes sense to ship Expression Media as part of the Studio [suite]," the representative said.

Other tools in the Expression Studio suite have included: Expression Design, for graphic design; Expression Web, for Web design; Expression Blend, for interactive design, and Expression Encoder, for video encoding.