I think there are a lot of developers who work alone or in very small teams who do not have access to professional designers and who might, at least for a while, be a bit intimidated by Blend.
We can tackle the question of how we can overcome Blend-o-phobia in a future posting, but for now I’ll say that Cider, the design surface in Orcas, provides a very powerful WYSIWYG design surface for Silverlight (and WPF). This is great news, especially as Silverlight matures.
It will be very interesting as Orcas heads towards delivery to see whether Silverlight developers find themselves using ORCAS or VS2005 and if ORCAS whether we find ourselves venturing into 1.1 or using 1.0 (yes, I know, I said Orcas for 1.1, 2005 for 1.0, but I also said it wasn’t an ironclad rule!)
PS: Please remember that while part of my job is to learn as much as anyone on the planet about Silverlight in the next six months, that doesn’t mean I’ve done so already. So feel free to educate me when I get it wrong. But be gentle, I break easily 🙂