Microsoft Web Platform Installer makes installing the latest components of the Microsoft web platform and open source ASP.NET and PHP applications much easy. One nice thing about the installer is that it lists all required components for an applicaiton or component. You can download version 2.0 beta at http://www.microsoft.com/web/downloads/platform.aspx

To see how the installer works, I downloaded and installed it, which was quick and worked well. However, I ran into some issue while trying to install Web Deployment Tool 1.0 RC. Fortunately I was given an option to download the binaries directly using a link during the setup. For this particular component I had to install it manually and rebooted my Win2k8 server.

The Gallery appliation looks interesting. So I tried to install it. The setup didn't work when I selected SQL Server and used my Express SQL Server credentials. Then I switched to MySQL, and using a local admin account. The setup completed successfully. Once I enabled browsing on the php app directory, I was able to start the 11-step configuration process for the application, which is located at http://localhost/gallery/install/index.php

Note: The installer supports Windows Vista, Windows Vista SP1, Windows XP SP2+, Windows Server 2003 SP1+, Windows Server 2008. Because IIS web server is required for installing the components and applications, you don't need to try it on your XP Home edition b/c IIS is not supported on the Home edition.