Microsoft's Yukon Database And Whidbey Tools Delayed Till 2005 - InformationWeek

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Microsoft's Yukon Database And Whidbey Tools Delayed Till 2005

Key product upgrades on the path to Longhorn operating system get pushed back.

Key upgrades to Microsoft's Visual Studio .Net development environment and SQL Server database that had been scheduled for release this year are being postponed until 2005, the company disclosed on Wednesday.

Whidbey, the code name for the next release of Visual Studio .Net, and Yukon, the follow-on to SQL Server 2000, are both getting pushed back. They're also getting real names: Visual Studio .Net 2005 and SQL Server 2005. It's the second delay for Yukon. Last June, Microsoft said it would push Yukon from a scheduled release in the first half of 2004 to the second half, in order to synchronize Yukon with the release of the Whidbey tools.

Both products represent stepping-stones to Microsoft's next-generation Longhorn operating system. While Microsoft has declined to provide a target release date for Longhorn, Gartner analyst David Smith says he doesn't expect Longhorn to appear until 2007 at the earliest. Smith describes the one- to two-quarter delay in Whidbey and Yukon as being of "minor" significance, but says they reinforce his belief that Longhorn has slipped back from Microsoft's original plan.

"It's not the first time that they've bitten off a little more than they can chew in the time frame they talked about," Smith says. In the last two weeks, Microsoft officials have begun to discuss about the possibility of interim versions of Windows--one for PCs, another for servers--that would appear before Longhorn, another indication that Longhorn may be years away. Whidbey is designed to integrate with Yukon, and Microsoft has said Whidbey-developed applications will run on Longhorn. Areas of improvement in Whidbey include developer productivity, scalability, collaboration tools for development teams, debugging, automated application deployment, an upgraded .Net Framework that supports 64-bit CPUs, and broader support for mobile devices. Yukon, which went into beta testing last year, features a complete redesign of the database's built-in data-movement and transformation technology, new business-intelligence capabilities, and improved scalability and manageability.

A second beta test of Yukon and first beta test of Whidbey are planned for the "coming months," according to Microsoft.

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