Last year Microsoft shared information about Kilimanjaro at the company’s second annual Business Intelligence Conference, which kicked off on October 6 in Seattle. Kilimanjaro is set to include self-service analysis tools (codenamed “Gemini”) that Microsoft is saying will allow information workers to better “slice and dice data and create their own BI (business intelligence) applications and assets to share and collaborate on from within the familiar, everyday Microsoft Office productivity tools they already use.”
But last week at TechEd 2009 conferences, Microsoft announced SQL Server 2008 R2, which you might recall as previous code of Kilimanjaro. What? You thought Kilimanjaro was SQL Server 2010? Well, if you Google it, you'll see that many others think the same, and in fact there are announcements from very significant sources over the last few months talking about SQL Server 2010. So the information now is that there is no SQL Server 2010. "Never was." That the BI and self-service tools that were part of the release were actually the R2 release. That "Kilimanjaro" always referred to R2. The next full release of SQL Server will follow the R2 release by about 24-36 months. You can expect to see full release of R2 in the first half of next year - CTPs should follow later this year for testing.
I understand that Microsoft, like any company has to adapt its strategy when the world is currently in a big financial problem. In my opinion, Microsoft will be easier to convince customers to upgrade a SQL 2008 to SQL 2008 R2 than convince SQL 2008 to SQL 2010... well ... but starting to be many products, many names, many service packs, many cumulative packages, many functionalities ... truly begin to create confusion in people, that usually have great difficulty accept the change. I hope at least, that Microsoft does not change the format and design of the next version of Excel which is expected to have many more capabilities than Excel 2007. We shall see ... I am very curious about the improvements on the analytical tools and on the "Master Data Services"
Also, their advertising video is pretty funny (the introduction part). You can also sign up to receive notifications of the CTP. You can see it here: