Now I know it's Christmas! I just read on Mary-Jo Foley's blog about the new, free CMS/Blog system released by Microsoft called "Oxite". It is built using the new ASP.NET MVC framework and is highly extensible, touting such features as Microformats and source control integration. In fact, it is so customizable that users can swap out Microsoft technologies and use search and database providers of their choice. In addition, it can be used with different source control products such as TFS or SVN.
The Oxite team who were responsible for Channel 9, have put considerable effort into establishing a strong base that developers can both use off the bat, as well as extend themselves. I'm itching to give this a test drive but am somewhat nervous of the beta-state of MVC right now. So, I'm treading carefully before attempting the full install. It might be worth the time spent to read the MVC release notes and Phil Haacks account of some installation issues before jumping in head first.
You can run Oxite on any version of XP, W2K3 or W2K8. You only need three pieces of software: some version of Visual Studio or Express, ASP.NET MVC and either SQL Express 2005 or 2008 - I'm guessing that SQL Server 2005 will work as well? Note that the online installation instructions for full version VS and database have not at the time of writing, been added. Like that's going to stop us, right?
You can create single blog or multi-blog sites. You can create your own pages and sub-pages, etc. It's got pingbacks, trackbacks, multi-level RSS feeds, gravatars... the list goes on. Plus, we get to use Live Writer to post to our blog :-)
The only thing about all this is that I no longer have an excuse not to learn the MVC framework. So, I guess I better head over to the ASP.NET site and educate myself...