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Microsoft Moves WebMatrix to Beta 2

Microsoft Wednesday announced the free Web site development tool WebMatrix has moved into beta 2, with enhancements such as improved Visual Basic support.

Microsoft's Scott Guthrie said WebMatrix "now supports building pages using both VB and C#," along with other improvements.

First released in July, the lightweight package includes basic versions of Microsoft's IIS and SQL Server along with a new, simple-syntax view-engine called Razor used to develop stand-alone "ASP.NET Web Pages" or view pages for applications based on ASP.NET MVC. The tool is designed to appeal to non-professionals as an easy way to get into Web development and perhaps move on to more advanced work with other Microsoft products.

Guthrie also said HTML 5 and CSS 3 templates have been added to the tool's gallery of common project scenarios, along with a new Wishlist template. In addition, WebMatrix is integrated with NuPack, a new open source package manager also announced today in Guthrie's blog.

The final improvement listed by Guthrie was a toolkit with "helpers" for putting analytics, Facebook, Twitter and other functionality into ASP.NET applications. The toolkit can be installed with NuPack.

While many readers complimented the announcements on Guthrie's blog, several asked about whether or not WebMatrix would support IntelliSense in the future, a common request since it was first released.

Along with WebMatrix and NuPack, Guthrie said Microsoft was today shipping a beta release of ASP.NET MVC 3, an update of a "preview" released in July. He said it now supports Razor, also.

WebMatrix can be installed through Microsoft's Web Platform Installer, which can be downloaded here.

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for 1105 Media.

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