Starting from 1st of April, SharePoint Designer is available as a free download. Further MS announced that existing customers with Software Assurance will receive upgrade rights to Expression Web for the lifetime of their SA agreement.
This will enable end users to customise SharePoint more easily and to design customised workflows. In SharePoint Page customisation is one major area which should be improved and made more user friendly. At present it is not that easy to customise a page using available out of the box features. This requires some knowledge on HTML which makes it somewhat difficult for power users. SPD helps to a greater extent on this area.
Further Microsoft announced that, the next version of Expression Web will directly support SharePoint page customisation. This will greatly help minimizing the present difficulties that we are facing on SharePoint branding. As Microsoft says This is an exciting time for SharePoint