Microsoft today announced a new free webserver for developers called IIS Express, which will be out in beta "shortly". Developers on the Microsoft platform today are typically stuck between two products. The ASP.NET Development Server that is built into Visual Studio is light weight, but lacking in features such as SSL and support for URL rewriting. Meanwhile, the full blown IIS Web Server product requires administrator access, doesn't run on Windows XP, and requires extra configuration
Scott Guthrie (VP of Microsoft's developer division) posted in his blog today that IIS Express has been designed to combine the best of both worlds. Coming in at less than 10Mb, it has no administrator requirement, supports all the IIS 7 modules, can be installed side-by-side with both the existing web server options, and works on Windows XP.
IIS Express will be quickly launchable from any directory and disk, and will include full support within VS 2010. The extent of support for VS 2008 has not been announced, but we're guessing you'll just have to launch it from the file system instead.
All in all, it sounds a very positive step forward. Find out more on Scott Guthrie's blog.