SQL Server 2008 to finally be released, but probably not in August

Giving itself a little more wiggle room, company representatives stated at a conference today that the new database server would be "priced" in August, leading some to conclude that's when SQL Server 2008 would be released.

After having promised that the eventual release of SQL Server 2008 would take place within a six-month timeframe from when it was originally scheduled -- during the "Heroes Happen Here" launch last February -- the latest Microsoft could possibly extend the product would be late August. Of course, once again, that depends on what you call "release."

This afternoon, some of the company's bloggers confirmed a statement that was overheard as having been uttered by an employee during the company's partners conference in Houston. SQL Server 2008 will "make the price list" in August, which means that customers will officially see what price they will pay for the product next month.

As the company's director of product development for SQL Server explained in a blog posting this afternoon, that enables Microsoft to extend the goal post at least one more month, creating the possibility that customers will actually see the product in early October.

"This means that customers and partners will soon be able to place their orders for SQL Server 2008," wrote Microsoft's Fausto Ibarra, "as we get ready to RTM in Q3 of this year."

The news means that Microsoft can meet its scheduled date of November 12 for the release of Small Business Server 2008 and Essential Business Server 2008. Both Windows Server-based packages for SMB customers will be available with buildout options that include SQL Server 2008.

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