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Web PI Gains XP, Windows 2003 Support

Facing criticism that the beta of its Web Platform Installer didn't support Windows XP and Windows Server 2003, Microsoft addressed that complaint with the release candidate made available yesterday.

Web PI is a free tool designed to bring together the latest iteration of Internet Information Server, ASP.NET, Visual Web Developer Express, SQL Server and the .NET Framework that Microsoft announced two months ago.

"Web PI offers a simple experience for downloading and installing the entire stack through a single installer to help you obtain the software you need to build and run a complete Web solution on the Microsoft Web platform," wrote Bill Staples General Manager of Microsoft's Web Platform and Tools engineering teams in a blog posting announcing the release.

Among those who criticized the lack of Windows XP support was Scott Hanselman, senior program manager in Microsoft's developer division. In a blog posting yesterday, Hanselman applauded the added platform support.

"How ya like me now, son?," he wrote. "Also works for Server 2003, so that's cool." Hanselman also pointed out Web PI's inclusion of the ASP.NET MVC beta, URL Scan 3.1 (designed to provide protection against SQL injection attacks) and IIS 7.0 Manager, which allows organizations to manage IIS 7 from Windows XP-based machines.

Complimenting the release of Web PI, Microsoft also launched Web App Installer, a free tool that provides a single way for Web developers to gather ASP.NET and PHP-based open source Web apps. Still in beta, Web AI consists of a suite of Web applications that include Drupal, DotNetNuke, Graffiti, Gallery, OS Commerce, Wordpress and PHPBB. Though Microsoft hadn't determined plans for Web AI at the time, the company is now planning a release candidate by mid-2009, according to Lauren Cooney, Microsoft's group product manager, Web Platform and Standards.

The Web PI release candidate can be downloaded here.

About the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.

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