I can remember my first web development project using MS tools being excruciating because of the verbose way ASP interacted with ADO and SQL Server. We actually had tools to automate code writing, such was the cludginess. I remember mentioning to a Linux-fan colleague at the time that the stateless nature of the web meant that the most efficient delivery mechanism was a database and a scripting engine. He said "You mean mysql and PHP - and better yet, they're free. The whole software setup is free if you run it on Linux, too." The prospect of setting up Linux galled me at the time (it involved formatting a special floppy disk, and rather too much fiddling in vi and recompiling), but the principle of a free database-oriented, powerful web deliver mechanism amazed me. It's gratifying to see Microsoft treating it as enough of a threat to address.