Microsoft obliquely announced at its Worldwide Partner Conference this week in Houston that SQL Server 2008 will be on the price list in August.
SQL Server 2008 will be released to manufacturing by the end of this quarter, which ends on Sept. 30, said Fausto Ibarra, Microsoft's new director of product management for SQL Server, in an interview this morning.
"We are very confident it will be available in the third quarter," Ibarra said. "We're in the final stages of testing. The release candidate has been downloaded by tens of thousands of people. We are very excited about seeing the product in the market."
Ibarra, who has been a key figure on the SQL Server team for four years, took the reins of the SQL Server product management team two months ago from Francois Ajenstat, who is now working on Microsoft's green initiatives.
Microsoft is timing the release of SQL Server 2008 with the final release of the first service packs for Visual Studio 2008 and the .NET 3.5 Framework. SP1, which is now in beta, includes Microsoft's much-anticipated Entity Framework. "We are coordinating them," Ibarra said.
"When we talk about the Entity Framework, we talk about it from the perspective of SQL Server and from the perspective of the .NET Framework and Visual Studio," he added. "No matter where developers are coming from, we will talk to them about the Entity Framework and coordinating the messaging of both releases across all our different developer channels."