This just arrived in my mailbox:
Microsoft will offer SharePoint Designer 2007 free of charge, as a download, starting April 1, 2009. This change is being made in order to help customers get the most value out of their investments in SharePoint products and technologies. Microsoft will remove SharePoint Designer 2007 from the April 2009 Volume Licensing price list.
Customers with active SA as of April 1, 2009 will be able to upgrade to Expression Web. SharePoint Designer is not “end-of-life.” The next version of SharePoint Designer will ship together with the next release of SharePoint.
The ability to create SharePoint solutions and customizations is a key part of the SharePoint value proposition. Microsoft’s strategy is to allow our customers to put these capabilities in the hands of more users, allowing them to make the most of their overall investments in SharePoint.
Starting April 1, 2009, SharePoint Designer 2007 will be available, free of charge, as a download at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?displaylang=en&FamilyID=baa3ad86-bfc1-4bd4-9812-d9e710d44f42. As a result, Microsoft will remove SharePoint Designer 2007 from the April 2009 Volume Licensing price list. Note that SharePoint Designer is not “end-of-life.” SharePoint Designer capabilities will continue to be part of the future roadmap of SharePoint product and technologies. The next version of SharePoint Designer will be available at the same time as the next release of SharePoint.
Customers with active Software Assurance coverage for SharePoint Designer 2007 as of April 1, 2009 will be able to upgrade to Expression Web. While Expression Web currently does not work against SharePoint sites, this additional value will enable our customers to leverage Expression Web for non-SharePoint sites while continuing to use SharePoint Designer 2007 for SharePoint sites. Expression Web will directly support SharePoint sites in a future release. Extending rights to Expression Web will help us address potential CPE issues from customers as a result of these changes, while also helping our customers create great experiences on SharePoint.