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SQL Server 2008 delayed until third quarter

February launch will bring a "feature complete" preview, with final release in the second half of the year.

Microsoft said on Friday that it has pushed back the delivery date of its SQL Server database until the third quarter of this year.

The company is planning to have a launch event, called Heroes Happen Here, on February 27 that will be a public coming-out of Windows Server 2008, Visual Studio 2008, and SQL Server 2008.

Rather than release the final product at that time, Microsoft will have a "feature complete" preview, according to a Microsoft employee blog dedicated to SQL Server.

A release candidate for SQL Server 2008 will come out in second quarter with final general availability in the third quarter, according to the blog's author, Francois Ajenstat, director of marketing for SQL Server.

The blog noted that the timing falls within Microsoft's previously stated goal of getting SQL Server 2008 out two to three years after SQL Server 2005, which itself suffered from a series of significant delays.

Despite the delays with SQL Server 2005, it has been a successful product. Market research indicates that Microsoft's database revenue is growing faster than that of rivals Oracle and IBM. Microsoft's server and tools business is one of the company's largest and fastest-growing divisions.