The new version of open-source database PostgreSQL, which is already in beta, is expected to go into production within three months, and will for the first time run natively on Windows.
In the past the only way of running PostgreSQL on Windows was by using the Unix emulator Cygwin, which reduced performance and limited the database's functionality.
Simon Riggs, a PostgreSQL developer, said that being able to run the database natively on Windows is an important milestone.
"Over the last few years one of the most common features that people have asked us for is a native Windows port," said Riggs. "We are expecting that within a year, half of our user base will run the database on Windows."
Riggs said that being able to run the database natively will open up the home user market, which in term will have a knock-on effect in boosting take-up by businesses.
"The hobby market is an important market. Home users are also employed and will take their opinions to work -- if it's not being used at work they'll ask why," he said.
Future PostgreSQL releases will include extra data warehousing features and increased compatibility between databases in response to the new ANSI standard. But Riggs believes that PostgreSQL already contains enough features for the vast majority of applications.
"We aren't behind the other databases. After all, PostgreSQL was the first object relational database," he said.
Further information on PostgreSQL 8.0, including a features list and a beta version of the software, can be found online here.