SQL Server, VS 2005 Launch Date Set

Microsoft on Tuesday at Tech Ed 2005 set a definitive launch date for its next wave of server and development tools that include SQL Server 2005, Visual Studio 2005 and BizTalk Server 2006: November 7. Microsoft hasn't yet said when Windows Server 2003 R2 will debut, but some expect a release in the same timeframe.

During his keynote address, Microsoft's senior vice president of Server Applications Paul Flessner said beta releases of SQL Server 2005 and Visual Studio 2005 -- known as Yukon and Whidbey, respectively -- had received rave receptions by customers.

The focus, said Flessner, is on reducing IT complexity and in turn lowering costs. Microsoft says SQL Server 2005 offers 7 percent higher performance and 35 percent less cost per transaction than rival Oracle 10g.

"By delivering an application platform for connected systems, these products will help jump-start growth in IT by enabling customers and partners to utilize new tools to increase operational efficiencies and become more competitive through greater insight into their business," Flessner said.

Achieving this goal has not been an easy task for Microsoft. The company originally planned for a 2004 launch, but moved the roadmap into early 2005 last year. As recent as January, Microsoft was stating Whidbey would ship by summertime.

In the meantime, Microsoft will continue its practice of tiding over developers with Community Technology Previews, today releasing the SQL Server 2005 June CTP. The preview is the first prerelease version of SQL Server 2005 available for public download.

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