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Microsoft touts AMD, snubs Intel with Yukon beta

SQL Server 2005 comes to the masses

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Microsoft's SQL Server 2005 database has reached the plebs in the form of a beta 2 release that includes, among other things, support for AMD's Opteron processor but not for Intel's similar 64-bit Xeon chip.

The upcoming database - code-named Yukon - is now available to some 500,000 MSDN subscribers here. Close to 3,000 select testers were allowed to peek at the first beta, and a third beta program is scheduled to start by the end of this year. Microsoft now expects a final version of the database to arrive "in the first half of 2005." It had once hoped to deliver the software by the end of this year.

Microsoft highlighted the support for Opteron as one of the major new features in the second beta.

"As enterprises transition from 32- to 64-bit computing, they need the smooth migration path to 64-bit computing that AMD64 provides," Marty Seyer, vice president and general manager of the microprocessor business unit at AMD, said in a Microsoft statement. "We invite beta testers to experience for themselves how AMD64 with Direct Connect Architecture can help eliminate the bottlenecks inherent in a front-side bus and improve overall system performance and efficiency."

Microsoft made no mention of Intel's recently released x86-64-bit Xeon processor that competes with Opteron. A company spokeswoman, however, said support for Intel's chip would arrive by the time SQL Server 2005 ships next year.

Microsoft has also put out SQL Server Management Studio - formerly known as SQL Server "workbench" - in the second beta. This software combines Enterprise Manager, Query Analyzer and Analysis Manager into one tool and adds support for SQL Server Reporting Services, Notification Services, XML and SQL Server 2005 Mobile Edition. The second beta also includes database mirroring, database snapshots, partitioning, database encryption and a host of other high-end functions. These additions are clearly meant to help Microsoft compete against the likes of Oracle and IBM. ®

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Developers' sneak peek at SQL Server 2005
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