(Repost - originally posted by Scott Guthrie of Microsoft to ASPFriends.com
announcement list)

I'm pleased to announce the immediate availability of a new development
tool for building web applications - the Microsoft ASP.NET Web Matrix
Project (technology preview release).

ASP.NET Web Matrix is a community-supported, easy-to-use WYSIWYG
application development tool for ASP.NET. It can be installed via a
quick 1.2 MB download (about 5 minutes using a 56Kb modem). Best of all
- it's absolutely free!

You can download the tool today from http://www.asp.net Available on
the site are screenshots and an interactive walkthrough. There is also
a link to a new "Inside ASP.NET Web Matrix" book available to freely
read online from Wrox press.

Key features of ASP.NET Web Matrix:

-- ASP.NET Page Designer. Rapidly create ASP.NET pages using the rich
WYSIWYG designer. Drag and drop ASP.NET Server controls from the Toolbox
onto your page. Select individual server controls to get in-place
designer editing support as well as full property grid customization.
Simply double-click a server control to get automatic event wireup of
server event handlers.

-- SQL and MSDE Database Management. Integrated support to create and
edit SQL and MSDE databases. Create new databases, add/edit/delete
tables and stored procedures, and edit data content all directly within
the Web Matrix tool. Auto-generate ADO.NET code to execute SQL
statements and stored procedures using built-in code builders.

-- Easy Data Bound UI Generation. Web Matrix makes it easy to create
data bound pages without writing code. Drop SQL tables on your page to
create data-bound grids, or start with Data Page templates for reports
or Master/Detail pages. Code builders help you generate code to select,
insert, update and delete SQL data.

-- XML Web Services Support. Easily add XML Web Service support to your
applications. Web Matrix provides support for developers to easily
expose a SOAP-based XML Web Service, as well as call and consume a XML
Web Service hosted on another server.

-- Build Mobile Applications. Write mobile-web-enabled applications for
a wide variety of mobile devices such as cell phones, pagers and PDAs.
Web Matrix provides drag-and-drop design support for authoring mobile
pages using ASP.NET and the Mobile Internet Toolkit.

-- Projectless File and FTP Workspaces. Web Matrix supports both
FTP-based and file-based workspaces that allow developers to easily
organize and edit their ASP.NET applications. Simply double-click a file
within the workspace tree to open it for editing. No FrontPage server
extensions or project system required.

-- Development Web Server. Develop and test your ASP.NET applications,
without requiring IIS. Web Matrix includes a lightweight personal web
server that serves most web content, including ASP.NET pages and XML Web
Services, for local requests.

-- Community Integration. Web Matrix provides a built-in gateway to the
ASP.NET community right within the IDE -- allowing you to browse
community web sites and search the ASP.NET Forums, Listservs and
Newsgroups for help.

We hope you enjoy the tool half as much as we did building it. :-)

Thanks,

Microsoft ASP.NET Team