SQL Server 2008 won't be sticking to its release schedule after all.
Microsoft still plans to provide a "feature complete" Community Technical Preview (CTP) of its flagship database at its official launch event in Los Angeles on Feb. 27, as well as a release candidate (RC) in the second quarter.
But the final release-to-manufacturing (RTM) version won't come until the third quarter of the year, according to a blog posting Friday at Microsoft's Technet Web site -- making it the slowest of the three products Microsoft plans to unveil next month to arrive. The other two are Windows Server 2008 and Visual Studio 2008.
"Our goal is to deliver the highest quality product possible and we simply want to use the time to meet the high bar that you, our customers, expect," Francois Ajenstat, the Microsoft marketing director for SQL Server, said in the post. "This does not in any way change our plans for the February 27 launch and we look forward to seeing many of you in Los Angeles and other events around the world."
Microsoft plans to unveil SQL Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 and Visual Studio 2008 together at its Heroes Happen Here event in Los Angeles.
Windows Server 2008's RTM has also been postponed several times, though it is currently expected to ship around the time of the LA launch. Visual Studio 2008, by contrast, was released in mid-November.
SQL Server 2008's delay is relatively minor, especially compared to the two-year delay for its prior version, SQL Server 2005. Development of that database was slowed by numerous security fixes.
Such issues were not cited in Ajenstat's blog, which did mention that CTPs of SQL Server 2008 have been downloaded 100,000 times.