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Microsoft WebMatrix 3

Easily create websites based on WordPress, Drupal, Joomla! and more

by Mike Williams

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License: Freeware
Operating Systems: Windows 7 (32 bit), Windows 7 (64 bit), Windows 8, Windows Server, Windows Vista (32 bit), Windows Vista (64 bit)
Requirements:
Languages: English
Software Cost: Free
Date Updated: 22 August 2013
Watchlist: Add download to my watchlist
Downloads To Date: 6298
Developer: Microsoft
RSS News Feed: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/webplatform/rss.aspx
Twitter Feed: http://twitter.com/mswebplatform
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Microsoft WebMatrix 3
Easily create websites based on WordPress, Drupal, Joomla! and many other free and open source tools

Microsoft WebMatrix 3 is a powerful yet lightweight web development tool.

The program offers code completion, database management (SQL Server, SQL CE, MySQL), and can download and set up a host of free and open source tools: WordPress, DotNetNuke, Drupal, SugarCRM, phpBB, Tiki Wiki, Joomla! and many more.

Bundled iPhone, Windows Phone and iPad simulators help to ensure your sites work on mobile devices. There are tools to help you optimise and tune sites for the best possible performance, and FTP and web deployment options will get your work online.

WebMatrix 3 improves the situation further with good Windows Azure integration; you can sign in with your Microsoft account, then create and host 10 sites for free.

There's now source control, too, courtesy of Git. And while this can normally be a difficult task (for beginners, at least), WebMatrix provides a straightforward front end for the usual command line complexities.

Enhanced remote editing further simplifies the development process. No need to work from a local source, just edit the remote files and your changes are automatically pushed to the site.

And Microsoft says WebMatrix includes "hundreds" of further improvements, "including an extension for PHP validation and Typescript support."

Verdict:

An interesting web development tool which comes crammed with time-saving features

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Spotlight: Free Full Software

Spektrel Art 1.0.0

Free Full Commercial Software

Spektrel Art is a stand-alone program and Photoshop plugin which transforms digital photos into "magical art that glimmers and gleams with intersecting lines of tapered light".

What does that mean? Essentially it applies a configurable mix of effects, enhancing edges, smoothing backgrounds and emphasizing colours. Take a look at the thumbnail for one example, and the official product page has more.

Spektral Art works much like any similar tool. Open an image, click one of the thumbnails to apply a particular preset, or click a few buttons and drag some sliders to fine-tune the results.

There's surprising scope for variation, too. For example, just switching from the "Light" to "Dark" theme can transform a bright and friendly image into something dark and sinister, at least in some cases (results vary depending on the source image).

Please note, the demo version doesn't allow images to be saved.

SPECIAL OFFER: as we write, the developer is offering Spektral Art for free. The offer expires August 29th. Please note that you must provide your name, address and phone number to receive your free license.

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