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SQL Server 2008 Delay: The Writing Was on the Wall

As you no doubt have read, Microsoft made official what some had quietly anticipated all along: that SQL Server 2008, code-named Katmai, might not make the company's target release to manufacturing (RTM) date of the second quarter.

The writing has been on the wall for a while. The company's goal of releasing community technology previews in 60-day batches fell by the wayside in the fall, and conversations with Microsoft always seemed to leave the door open for it to slip. Indeed, most in the SQL Server community appear to be willing to cut Microsoft some slack if it's one quarter late.

When I asked Wayne Snyder, president of the Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS) user group, about it, he echoed what others had to say: "I would prefer a little disappointment and delay in receipt, rather than an on-time delivery of a flawed product," he responded in an e-mail. "I think they should keep it until it is ready."

However, he added, "But I wish it would be ready sooner."

Certainly, Microsoft's impressive 2Q results last week give the company some wiggle room. But it does beg the question: Will this be the only delay (which Microsoft describes as a "clarification") to its road map? If we give Microsoft the benefit of the doubt and, at best, SQL Server 2008 appears later this summer, it still leaves many wondering about the purpose of having a big launch party, which kicks off in late February in Los Angeles.

Anthony Carrabino, SQL Server's senior product manager, explained in a blog posting that the Los Angles event is a marketing event for the three key enterprise platform products -- which, in addition to SQL Server, include 2008 versions of Windows Server and Visual Studio. "It makes sense for us to create a single event for delivering information about these exciting new releases," Carrabino wrote. "As a result, the 'launch' event provides IT professionals, developers and software enthusiasts alike with an exciting and convenient way to have fun learning about all three products in one place."

Does this delay come as a setback for your plans? If you're on an earlier platform, will you instead upgrade to SQL Server 2005 or wait for the newest version? Drop us a line at [email protected] and let us know what it means to you.

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 01/30/2008

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