Ars Technica reports Expression Media ripped out of Microsoft Expression Studio:

Expression Media, Microsoft's digital asset management software for cataloging photos, video and music, will continue to be available as a standalone product but will no longer ship with Expression Studio, effective with the upcoming Expression Studio 3 release. Microsoft will continue to market Expression Media to digital photographers, who make up the largest customer base for this product, and will continue to invest in digital photography. Expression Studio and Expression Media will be sold separately.

Despite the headline, that's not necessarily bad news. Equally, it's not good either - it's simply impossible to know whether Expression Media has much of a future. It's now 3 years since Microsoft bought iView, and the longer they fail to drive the product forward and deliver an exciting new version, the less relevant it will inevitably become.

For instance, only yesterday Jeffrey Friedl released a Lightroom plug-in which allows you to catalogue video files in Lightroom, so how much longer will it be until he or someone else includes all file types?

Or here is a screenshot of my own plug-in which adds user-definable custom fields to Lightroom and includes read/write from XML. Those two features mean I'm just a short step for DAMkind away from reading iView/xMedia data exports and writing to Lightroom custom fields. Could do it now, in fact. Even if I never release that plug-in, I could use it for my own final move away from xMedia and that would be another advocate gone. Disinterring my old analogy of DAM and serial monogamy, how often do lost loves ever come back?