Microsoft Pushes Back Yukon Release

The next version of SQL Server will now ship in the second half of 2004 rather than the first half as previously expected.

DALLAS—Microsoft Corp. has pushed back the release of the next version of SQL server, code-named Yukon, which will now ship in the second half of 2004 rather than the first half as previously expected.

Paul Flessner, the senior vice president of Microsofts Windows Server division, told several thousand attendees at his opening keynote at the TechEd conference here on Monday morning that there was "no specific reason for this."

The first public beta for Yukon will be released later this summer, he said, as he also announced the availability of the Exchange Server 2003 Release Candidate 1. Microsoft itself wanted to consolidate its 144 Exchange mail sites into one powered by eight servers. "A lot of work has gone into this product around integration with Windows Server 2003," he said.

Flessner also announced the beta of BizTalk Server 2004, the first phase of the companys next-generation e-business vision, code-named Jupiter. Microsoft has also decided to slash the price of the developer edition of SQL Server to $49 from $449. "This will be picked up and embedded by other development forms like Borland," he said.

Flessner also told the audience that Microsoft would extend its business intelligence platform by shipping Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Reporting Services by the end of the year, following a public beta this fall.

Flessner also gave a product roadmap going forward. Among the upcoming releases for this year and in 2004 are Office 2003; the next version of SQL Server, code-named Yukon; and the next version of Visual Studio .Net, code-named Whitby

2005 is expected to bring the release of the next-version of the Windows client, code-named Longhorn; another version of Visual Studio .Net, known as Orcas; the release of Microsofts integrated e-business suite, code-named Jupiter; a version of Office for Longhorn; the Real Time Communications Server version 2; and SharePoint Portal Server version 3.

In 2006 and beyond, Microsoft expects to release the next version of Windows Server, believed to be code-named Blackcomb. This appears to confirm comments from Microsoft executives that another major server release is not on the cards for the same time as the Longhorn client release .

Also on the cards for 2006 and out are a version of Exchange Server, code-named Kodiak, which will run on top of SQL Server; and the Microsoft Systems Center.