While this is all over the net I figured I should also post it here. SharePoint Designer which was previously a product that replaced front page is now a completely free downloadable product.
This tool can help ANY user who uses SharePoint to expand their capabilities. From page editing, page layout and master page creation to the implementation of custom workflows this is an excellent tool for business and technical users to use in their SharePoint environment. Keep in mind that extra usage reports are available in designer and a bunch of other ‘tucked away’ features that you can take advantage of.
Even if you don’t have SharePoint this can be helpful for web site design, backups, and other web related content management.
It can be downloaded here: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?displaylang=en&FamilyID=baa3ad86-bfc1-4bd4-9812-d9e710d44f42
This is a new direction for this product and vNext of SharePoint Designer is also going to be freely available. For those of us who have seen the vNext stuff and played with it, trust me, this is awesome news.
Want to know more?
Want to know more about the licensing changes? Check out this Q&A on it: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepointdesigner/HA103607621033.aspx – This also better explains the MANY reasons why this is great news and how you as a customer can take advantage of this, and how it can benefit you.
There is also a quick video where Tom explains the change: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvvVJamO3nQ
If you are an Administrator
This means you MUST consider locking down SharePoint Designer as soon as possible. With it freely available users can now perform many potentially server intensive tasks such as backing up sites. To understand how to control SharePoint Designer I recommend reading this wonderful post on the SharePoint blog: http://blogs.msdn.com/sharepointdesigner/archive/2008/11/25/locking-down-sharepoint-designer.aspx
If you want some extra training or are new to SPD…
I would recommend installing and running through the SharePoint Designer Training that can be found here: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=5B10F061-41D4-48CE-85CB-01D46772240D&displaylang=en
Hope you enjoy, I know I will,