The Gloves Come Off: MS Visual Studio Challenges Adobe Dreamweaver

Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft has taken a swing at Adobe by releasing a promotional video that compares Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 to Adobe Dreamweaver 8.

The bold move is part of Microsoft's attempt to increase Visual Studio sales in the midst of a Dreamweaver-dominated market. The comparison between the two software applications is somewhat incongruent, however, since Visual Studio is an all-purpose integrated development application while Dreamweaver is primarily a design tool. (Source:

The comparison video, titled "101 Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Features Compared to Adobe Dreamweaver 8," compares the two products on 22 different aspects, including code editors, design notes, help features, database support, and debugging. The video's website certainly doesn't hold back when describing the video: "The gloves come off in this feature by feature video comparison of Visual Studio 2005 and Dreamweaver 8. We'll pull no punches as we take an in-depth look at each winning bout." (Source:

Not surprisingly, the video presents a somewhat slanted view when comparing the two products. For example, after describing the split view layout that is exclusive to Dreamweaver, the video comments that "the same functionality will be added to the next version of Visual Studio." (Source:

The video also uses the opportunity to tout Microsoft's Expression tools. Recognizing Dreamweaver's popularity as a design tool, the video invites anyone interested in design capabilities to "explore the designer features of Expression Web Designer." (Source:

When Microsoft began developing its Expression tools, the company was careful not to make any statements about advertising the product as an alternative to Dreamweaver. However, the Redmond-based company began singing a different tune at a recent Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference held in Boston. John Byrum, Product Manager for Microsoft Expression tools, stated that "if you're selling Dreamweaver today, these [Microsoft] tools absolutely compete head-to-head" with Adobe's designer tools. (Source:

The best choice between the two products ultimately depends on users' needs. A more design-focused user will likely consider Dreamweaver to be superior, while the additional features of Visual Studio may appeal to others. After choosing to go head-to-head with Adobe, Microsoft evidently wants this distinction blurred -- with the majority of customers ending up on their side of the fence.

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