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Is Microsoft WinServer 2008 big-bang release a sham?

Microsoft’s biggest-ever enterprise product launch appears to be more marketing ploy than a true launch.While COO Kevin Turner said Microsoft would simultaneously launch Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 and Visual Studio 2008 together at a Feb. 27 event in Los Angeles, that news does not override previously announced product timetables, other execs said Tuesday afternoon.

The RTM (release to manufacturing) date for SQL Server is the second half of Microsoft’s fiscal year (between January and June of next year) said Kim Saunders, senior director of SQL Server marketing. Visual Studio 2008 is due to RTM this calendar year as is Windows Server 2008, aka Longhorn.So there remains quite a bit of timing wiggle room for this “platform release.”

And, cynics in the audience at the Worldwide Partner Conference maintain that Microsoft’s track record of meeting RTM or general availability dates remains underwhelming.

The idea of a platform release, rather than a staggered set of releases, pleases some VARs who would rather get all their technology at once. Others, however, maintain that tightly linked releases tend to delay shipment because so much more testing is involved.

So when will this product triple threat arrive? Today’s answer is the same as last weeks: Nobody knows.

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