Thursday, March 11, 2004

Yukon, Whidbey Releases Slip Yet Again

Yukon, Whidbey Releases Slip Yet Again "Microsoft Corp. Director of Product Management for SQL Server Tom Rizzo confirmed that Microsoft expects to ship both Yukon—Microsoft's code name for the next major update of its SQL Server database—and Whidbey—the coming update of Visual Studio—in the first half of 2005. In the meantime, a third beta has been added to the current beta schedule of Yukon, with 15 beta customers from across all major vertical industries signing up to run Yukon Beta 3 live in production settings before giving the thumbs up for Microsoft to make the product generally available.
Rizzo also confirmed that rumors about the final names for the products, gleaned from leaked screenshots, are correct: The final name for Yukon is SQL Server 2005, and the final name for Whidbey is Visual Studio 2005. According to Rizzo, both products are on the same timeframe for shipping for a key reason: Namely, Microsoft wants to release the best of its developer tools with the best of its database technology "to really change the industry," he said. "If you look at Oracle [Corp.] and IBM and other competitors in the open-source space, they don't have releases where new and innovative tools are released with a new and innovative database. Customers want that: the next generation of tools that exploit the next generation of database technology."

This and other articles about the slip include lots of speculation, but it's certainly not good news for Microsoft. Interesting that Whidbey is apparently going to be called "Visual Studio 2005" -- i.e., no ".NET" suffix this time. I think that's an indication that .NET (where .NET => produce/consume Web services and build on the .NET Framework) is now pervasive throughout the Microsoft product line; no doubt others will position it as a scandalous hint that .NET is flailing, just as they did when Windows .NET Server changed to Windows Server 2003. In any case, the schedule challenges are a problem for Microsoft in many respects, but I don't think they will shift overall DBMS market trends. There is no 80-20 rule in database products, and Microsoft is right to not rush SQL Server to market.

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