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Microsoft releases an open source web development suite

If you can't beat 'em
Fri Jan 14 2011, 10:44

SOFTWARE DEVELOPER Microsoft has packaged up open source software to create a web development toolkit.

Microsoft's Webmatrix development kit is pitched at web developers of all types, allowing easy access to presently available software and web hosting providers. Of particular surprise is Microsoft's decision to promote open source software packages within Webmatrix, including the popular Wordpress and Joomla content management systems.

Around 40 open source applications make up Microsoft's renewed effort in producing web publishing software. While software such as Wordpress does not directly compete with any Microsoft product, surprisingly for the Vole, it is pushing PHP which goes up against its own Active Server Pages software. There are search engine optimisation tools included and even help for those looking for a web hosting company.

Microsoft has managed to entice 30 web hosting providers all over the world to promote their services through Webmatrix, though it is possible to upload content to any provider through the software.

It's good to see Microsoft embrace software that is in widespread use. Previously the firm had insisted on peddling heavyweight applications for pseudo web development such as Frontpage and Expression Web, which produce code that can at best be considered of only questionable quality. However, packaging up feature-rich and refined software such as Wordpress and Joomla is not only good for users but gives the impression that Microsoft does actually care about web standards.

While Webmatrix might be seen as a web developer's app store, the fact that Microsoft has decided to stock it with open source software goes some way to showing how far open source projects have progressed. µ



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