Microsoft readies SQL Server 2008

Microsoft will ship its SQL Server 2008 in August with a release to manufacturing set for sometime during the third quarter, the company announced Wednesday at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2008 in Houston, Texas.

Speaking at the partner event, Bob Kelly, corporate VP of the Microsoft Server and Tools business, said that the software giant will launch its "end-to-end virtualization stack" in an event for press and analysts on September 8.

Microsoft first previewed SQL Server 2008 in February to thousands of customers and partners worldwide.

Since then, SQL Server 2008 has been twice postponed, leaving customers and partners to work in the meantime with the Community Technology Preview and release copies of the server's code. The company claims the CTPs and RC have attracted more than 250,000 downloads.

Microsoft will also release SQL Server 2008 Web Edition, a version of SQL Server that targets web hosting for the first time. The company says the Web Edition will offer "highly scalable hosting at a competitive price for developers, small to medium-sized businesses, and consumers."

The company had originally planned to offer only five editions - the free-for-download Express and Compact Editions, as well as Workgroup, Standard and Enterprise.

In the meantime, the company says it will release Windows Small Business Server 2008 and Windows Essential Business Server 2008 next week as Release Candidate 1, with Software development kits released later this month.

The final product launch for the new Windows server OS targeting mid-sized businesses and new version of its small-business server software is planned for November 12.

Microsoft also announced Wednesday that 550 ISVs have enrolled in the Microsoft Software + Services Incubation Center Program since its October 2006 launch.

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