At TechEd 2007, Microsoft officials announced the final names of "Katmai," the next version of its SQL Server database, and "Orcas," the forthcoming Visual Studio release.
Katmai will be known as "Microsoft SQL Server 2008." And Orcas is "Microsoft Visual Studio 2008."
Here at the Orlando show for IT professionals, Microsoft announced that it has made available for download the first Community Technology Preview (CTP) build of SQL Server 2008. The Katmai CTP release is available to any existing SQL Server customer and is available on the Microsoft Connect site. (Thanks to Winbeta.org for the link.)
The final version of SQL Server 2008 is expected to ship in 2008. Further extending its business-intelligence story, Microsoft also announced on Monday that it has acquired Dundas Data Visualization's Data Visualization products, which provide charting within SQL Server Reporting Services.
On the tools front, Microsoft execs said at Tech Ed that Beta 2 of Visual Studio 2008 will be available later this summer and will include the Visual Studio Shell, "a new offering that enables developers to create and distribute their own custom tools built on top of the Visual Studio integrated development environment (IDE)."
The final version of Visual Studio 2008 is likely to ship in the early part of next year (though there still seems to be an outside chance it might be released to manufacturing by the end of calendar 2007).