Microsoft sets launch day for Visual Studio 2008, SQL Server 2008, Windows Server 2008

According to a press release just received, Microsoft has set 27 February 2008 for the “global launch” of its 2008 server and developer products:

Today at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference, COO Kevin Turner announced that the company will jointly launch Windows Server 2008, Visual Studio 2008 and SQL Server 2008 in Los Angeles on 27 February, 2008. The event will kick off a “launch wave” of hundreds of events that Microsoft will host worldwide including training, virtual events and extensive online resources.

Windows Server 2008 has the IIS 7.0 web server, PowerShell command-line, and “Server core” which lets you install servers without any GUI components. Funny how Windows is getting more like Unix.

SQL Server 2008 has a new FileStream data type (a better blob), spatial and location data types, integrated full-text search, and a bunch of scalability and management improvements.

Visual Studio 2008 is the LINQ (Language Integrated Query) and WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation) release. WPF is already out there, but this has full design-time support. There is also ASP.NET AJAX. Visual Studio 2008 goes hand-in-hand with C# 3.0 and VB 9.0. The underlying CLR (Common Language Runtime) is still essentially 2.0, the same as for Visual Studio 2005.

Of course there are a zillion other new features, but I’ve picked out a few highlights.

Will this change our lives? LINQ is exciting, and so is WPF if anyone actually starts to use it, but of course we’ve known about these things for a while. Microsoft’s release cycle for new technology – from first announcement to full release – seems to stretch out for ages. Otherwise, this feels more like consolidation than any sort of new direction.