The Microsoft Web Platform has just been launched and is available for download now from www.microsoft.com/web – the same site we recently featured here not too long ago. In addition to articles about web development and design, the website now also features a “Downloads” section, which is where you can find the Microsoft Web Platform download.
So what is the Microsoft Web Platform? Basically, it’s a bundled download of all the Microsoft developer technologies from the .NET Framework 3.5 to ASP.NET to Silverlight and more. It provides a single package for installing and configuring Microsoft's entire Web Platform, which includes IIS7, Visual Web Developer 2008 Express Edition, SQL Server 2008 Express Edition and, of course, the .NET Framework.
The bundle has two main parts to it: 1) the Microsoft Web Platform Installer (WebPI), and 2) the Microsoft Web Application Installer (WebAI). The “Web Platform Installer” is a download manager that simplifies the download and installation process for the Microsoft technologies. However, it’s the “Web Application Installer” which is especially interesting. This piece of the WPI is a gallery that manages the setup, configuration, and acquisition of a number of technologies that run on top of Windows. This includes applications like popular ASP.NET and PHP web apps and even includes some that are open source. Some of the apps you're able to install with this platform are DotNetNuke, Drupal, Gallery, Graffiti, osCommerce, PHPBB, and Wordpress.
The Web Platform Installer Tool will also help developers by providing hands-on guidance to developers who are building cloud applications with these tools. The download is free and runs on Vista and Server 2008.