FRAMINGHAM (03/10/2004) - Citing quality concerns, Microsoft Corp. plans to push back the release date of its next generation database, code-named Yukon, and the next version of Visual Studio by as much as six months.
Microsoft had originally planned to release Yukon commercially at the end of 2004 but decided to add a third beta release to the cycle, delaying shipment until the first half of next year. A second Yukon beta, as well as the "Whidbey" Visual Studio tool kit beta, are on track for shipment in the next few months, however. And Microsoft has at least settled on an official name for the database: SQL Server 2005.
Yukon has a number of planned enhancements to address various flaws in SQL Server 2000, including security issues (see story).
"The only reason is partner and customer feedback," said Tom Rizzo, director of product management for SQL Server. "There are a select group of customers who will run Beta 3 and have the ability to sign off on the final release. In the database world, you can't release a poor product. We aren't date-driven; we're quality-driven."
There are no specific areas of concern, he said, but because Yukon is such a major release, Microsoft wants its major test customers to use it in production before signing off on it. "There are a lot of areas we want them to test it (in) in the real world." He cited as examples Yukon's data management, usability, security and Visual Studio tool kit developer productivity features.
Even the June or July 2005 release of Yukon's release might not be met, said Ted Friedman, an analyst at Stamford, Conn.-based consultancy Gartner Inc., via e-mail. The delay came about for multiple reasons, including quality control needs and "Microsoft's ongoing struggle to clearly define the key themes, objectives, and feature set for Yukon. They have articulated different themes at different points in time," Friedman said.