Where Is Microsofts Yukon Beta 3?

The software giant is rolling out packaging and pricing for its SQL Server 2005 database. But still no Beta 3.

Microsoft has been willing to share many details in advance about its next-generation SQL Server database product. But theres one thing officials with the Redmond, Wash., software giant wont discuss: the whereabouts of SQL Server 2005 Beta 3.

Beta 3 is seen by many Microsoft watchers as the last hurdle Microsoft needs to clear in order to ship the long-awaited product, code-named "Yukon."

Tom Rizzo, Microsofts director of product management for SQL Server, said this week that Microsoft is on track to deliver another interim build, known as a CTP (Community Technology Preview) of SQL Server 2005 "really, really soon now." Microsoft delivered to SQL Server testers the most recent CTP build in December.

As to the whereabouts of SQL Server Beta 3, Rizzo said that it also would be in testers hands "soon." He said the SQL Server team is still expecting that it will meet its self-imposed deadline of the first calendar quarter for Beta 3, and that Microsoft is still planning to ship the final SQL Server 2005 product in late summer.

Microsoft rolled out its last true beta of SQL Server 2005, Beta 2, in July 2004. CTPs are not considered to be beta-quality.

At the VSLive trade show in early February, Microsoft officials said to expect Beta 2 of Visual Studio 2005—a product that is tightly aligned with SQL Server 2005—by March 31. But at the VSLive conference, Microsoft officials would not discuss whether SQL Server 2005 Beta 3 would hit the March 31 deadline, as well.

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