Microsoft Looks to Attract New Web Developers with WebMatrix

If you haven’t yet heard, Microsoft recently released the first beta of WebMatrix, a light-weight (and free) software stack that provides everything you need to start building websites using Windows.

For developers new to ASP.NET development, the free toolset is an ideal starting point. Some key features include:

  • IIS Developer Express, a development web server
  • The ASP.NET framework
  • An integrated code editor and database editor
  • Razor” — a new view engine for ASP.NET, which allows you to embed VB or C# within HTML
  • Search optimization, and more.

Basically, WebMatrix streamlines website development for newbies and even lets you work with popular open-source applications that are a part of Microsoft’s Web App Gallery.

The strategy for Microsoft, of course, is to attract new developers to their environment—and this appears to be an effective way to go about doing it. With WebMatrix, you can start coding, testing, and deploying sites locally without having to worry or giving any thought to, say, setting up or managing a production box or purchasing any expensive software.

And once you’re ready to make the transition to a live or production environment (IIS, SQL Server, Visual Stuido, etc.), it’s pretty much seamless.

Be sure to check out Scott Guthrie’s writeup on WebMatrix, as well as a couple of getting started videos on Microsoft’s website.

So what do you think?  Do you plan on using WebMatrix?  Take our poll below.

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