Today, we posted a release candidate (RC) of the Web Platform Installer (Web PI) here. This effort is a direct result of feedback we’ve received from customers regarding the need to significantly simplify the installation of key components needed to spin up new web properties. With the Web PI, customers can now use a simple tool to install Microsoft's entire Web Platform, including IIS7, Visual Web Developer 2008 Express Edition, SQL Server 2008 Express Edition and the .NET Framework. Or, the tool can be used to install more specific combinations of these technologies.
Timing is critical for this update; our customers are already knee deep in deploying platform updates across Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 and others. This newest RC for the Web PI now enables installation of ASP.NET MVC, Visual Studio Tools for Silverlight and offers compatibility with Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP for a more complete, enterprise-level experience. As well, with the Microsoft Web Application Installer (WebAI), we are including several .NET and Open Source applications for development on top of the platform itself. These include Drupal, Wordpress, OSCommerce, DotNetNuke, Graffiti, PHPBB, and Gallery. We know our customers are working within heterogeneous environments today, and the need for tools and solutions that drive cross-platform interoperability is more important than ever. We’re continuing to drive interoperability into the core platform through.NET framework updates, Silverlight and “Oslo’s” M language, which is now included in the Open Specification Promise.