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The System Center team at Microsoft has a full plate this year, with lots of beta, release candidate (RC) and final ship targets on its schedule. Note that we now have an official date for the coming "Concero" hybrid cloud-management portal: Both the beta and final versions of Concero are slated for the second half of calendar 2011. I have to say, it's refreshing to see a Microsoft team that is willing to share with customers and the general public such a complete version of its 2012 roadmap.
At TechEd, Microsoft began sharing a few tidbits about its feature set for its next version of Visual Studio, which company officials are publicly calling "Visual Studio v.Next," but which this slide indicates is internally known as Visual Studio 2012. Microsoft has been on an every-two-year ship schedule with Visual Studio for the past few years, so I'm not sure why they've gone to the dark side that some other teams at Microsoft have and are shying away from using the product name that everyone inside and outside the company is using. Microsoft officials shared information on some of the VS 2012 application lifecycle management (ALM) features of the product this week, but wouldn't talk beta or final ship-date targets.
Microsoft execs also used TechEd this week to go deeper on what's coming in the next version of SQL Server, codenamed "Denali." This slide compares the technology priorities for the past two SQL Server releases with the coming Denali release. Microsoft so far has delivered two Community Technology Previews of Denali. The third will be coming later this summer, officials said this week. The SQL Server team still won't say when it plans to deliver the final release of SQL Server; there's been talk that it could be very late in 2011 or some time in 2012.