Microsoft prepares to sell SQL Server 2008

An August release?

For sale sign

Microsoft's SQL Server 2008 appears ready to go after months of delay, as the company is taking steps to begin selling the database.

The company said today that it's putting SQL Server 2008 on its August price list, for customers and partners to begin purchases. Release to manufacturing has been promised sometime during the third quarter, which finishes at the end of September.

Ahead of release - postponed twice - customers and partners have been working with the Community Technology Preview (CTP) and release copies of the SQL Server 2008 code. Microsoft claimed it's had more than 250,000 downloads of the CTPs and RC.

Hosting its annual partner conference in Houston, Texas, Microsoft also singled out the fact that it will be offering a version of SQL Server targeting web hosting for the first time. SQL Server 2008 Web Edition will provide "highly scalable hosting at a competitive price for developers, small to medium-sized businesses, and consumers," Microsoft said.

Microsoft had planned on just five editions - the free-for-download Express and Compact Editions, along with Workgroup, Standard and Enterprise.

Microsoft also said its Windows Small Business Server 2008 and Windows Essential Business Server 2008 will be available next week as Release Candidate 1. Software development kits will be released this month. The final product launch is planned for November 12.

Finally, Microsoft today claimed that, after nearly two years pushing its Software + Services Incubation Center Program, 550 ISVs have enrolled. The program provides ISVs with consulting and guidance on modeling applications for delivery using on-demand. Microsoft has 20 centers worldwide. ®

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