Good vibes for Microsoft 'point-and-click cloud computing'

Microsoft's free Web Platform Installer generating genuine interest and kudos

People who write code for a living have a love/hate relationship with Microsoft. Over the years the press has played up the hate (and the hype), but today I thought I would turn to one Microsoft software project which is generating genuine interest and kudos from some developers.

The product is Microsoft's free Web Platform Installer, now on version 2.0, which lets developers quickly install Microsoft's Internet Information Services and a boatload of free Web applications on top of IIS, including WordPress, Moodle, SugarCRM, and Acquia for Drupal. The fact that this Microsoft product is playing nice with open source software is remarkable in itself, but what has gotten developers particularly interested is the cloud potential. Blogger and developer Jorge Escobar yesterday said:

"I was blown away with the concept behind this application. Basically Windows has introduced point-and-click cloud computing for the masses and it's doing it in a way that resembles the iPhone application directory but for web applications.

I hate to say it but it's brilliant."

Not everyone who has seen the Web Platform Installer is so impressed, however. Last week, developer, author and podcaster Kevin Yank acknowledged that Web PI makes it "easy to set up IIS as a development environment for PHP which has been really painful in the past," but said he believed it is not getting much traction in the marketplace, where WAMP or LAMP installations are often preferred. He also said open-source developers are suspicious of anything Microsoft does, which would slow adoption.

But it's the cloud connection and the potential hooks to Azure -- Microsoft's soon-to-be-launched cloud computing platform -- that also come into play. More than a few developers commenting on a Hacker News thread that they were looking forward to Web PI applications being tied into Azure instances, even though someone identifying himself as working on the Azure platform made pains to note that the two products are "really quite distinct".

Nevertheless, the idea that Microsoft is simplifying and opening up its cloud-related offerings, and removing development obstacles and other potential barriers to entry (such as billing-related headaches) is enough to draw a lot of interest and maybe even turn the page on some of the bad feelings resulting from its bruising battles with the open-source community. In the months to come, the big question on many people's minds will be how Azure measures up in production environments, and how it works with both Microsoft and non-Microsoft applications.

Sources and research:, SitePoint podcast #36,,,,,

Ian's bio and disclosures are located here. Follow Ian on Twitter at Industry Standard updates and asides are available at and in our newsletters. You can also join our Industry Standard Facebook page and LinkedIn group.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags CloudMicrosoft

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ian Lamont

The Industry Standard
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?