At a conference in Seattle that was apparently accompanied by at least one demo that was not on its original schedule,Microsoft made mention of a product with the code-name "Kilimanjaro," in association with SQL Server. Within minutes, both bloggers and reporters seized upon the phrase as though the company had actually offered a peek at some sort of "SQL Server 2010," and some had actually reported that a database engine for two years down the road had actually been demoed.
Here’s the official clarification from Microsoft:
Kilimanjaro is being called a “new release” of SQL Server 2008, but not a new database engine. What is added to it will not replace or upgrade any portion of the current database management system, a senior Microsoft product manager.
“What we are announcing this week is a release of SQL Server code-named 'Kilimanjaro' focused on BI and delivering new capabilities in the area of self-self service analysis and self-service reporting,” reads an e-mail we received from Fausto Ibarra, Microsoft's director of product management for SQL Server. “These are new capabilities and not a rewrite, rework, or upgrade. SQL Server Kilimanjaro will ship in H1 calendar year 2010, and we will continue to commit to a major release of SQL Server every 24-36 months.”
It's an interesting tightrope Microsoft has chosen to walk, in that the company is now officially stating that it can issue a “major release” of SQL Server, if not any other product specifically, without actually changing the basic product. Granted, the add-ons are important and should be well-received, but in this new reality, we can expect to see something more like a “SQL Server 2008 R2” with some advanced features tied on.