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Microsoft to cough up surprise SQL Server 2005 SP4 furball

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Microsoft has pricked up its ears over customer demands for a fourth service pack for its aged SQL Server 2005 database, and confirmed SP4 will be pushed out before the end of this year.

"You overwhelmingly requested another servicing release for SQL Server 2005. Given your feedback Microsoft targets now such release in Q4/CY2010," wrote the software vendor's SQL Server program manager Matthias Berndt in a blog post late on Friday.

"Based on current support volume as well as the fact that SQL Server 2005 will enter into extended support on 4/13/2011 we anticipate this to be the last Service Pack release for this SQL Server version. Extended support for SQL Server 2005 will be available through 4/12/2016," he said.

Berndt also reaffirmed that Microsoft planned to release SQL Server 2008 SP2 in the third quarter of 2010.

Last month Microsoft confirmed that the next version of - SQL Server 2008 R2 - which moves further into big-iron territory, will be available in May.

Sometime during that month, the new version will appear on Microsoft's price list and become available to buyers.

The company ended support for SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 2 in January. Microsoft released SP3 for the software in late 2008. But it seems the database is far from end of life yet, despite Redmond's desire to convince punters to upgrade.

Perhaps all that will change when SQL Server 2008 R2, which is currently in technical preview, lands later this year. ®

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