Microsoft's Revised Road Map Includes Slips For Yukon, Jupiter

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Microsoft provided a revised product road map at Tech Ed 2003 on Monday, including a slip of its Yukon version of SQL Server until the second half of 2004.

During his opening keynote here, Paul Flessner, senior vice president of Microsoft's Server Platform Division, acknowledged the long-awaited Yukon version of SQL Server is slated for release in the second half of 2004.

"Yukon has been pushed a bit," Flessner told thousands gathered for the software giant's annual technology conference in Dallas, noting the public beta for Yukon would be available this summer. Microsoft had hoped to get the database out earlier that year. The beta likewise has slipped from June to "this summer."

As first reported by CRN, Microsoft officially announced Release Candidate 1 of Exchange 2003 as well as beta availability of BizTalk Server 2004, code-named Voyager. (More on Voyager.)

Flessner also acknowledged that the company's planned Jupiter e-commerce suite of products including BizTalk would be delayed until 2005. That suite was originally expected to be available in 2004.

While the Microsoft server executive alluded to several product delays, he earned a round of applause by announcing a major price cut on SQL Server Developers Edition to $49. That product is currently priced at $449, he said.

He also noted that Exchange Server 2003, Office 2003, SharePoint Portal Server 2003 and Project Server 2003--other products expected to ship in mid-2003--are now slated for release this summer or fall.

Microsoft recently said it would release another test version of Office 2003 in June and that the final release was being pushed back for release this fall.

While Microsoft formally unveiled Exchange 2003 Release Candidate 1 at Tech Ed 2003 here, it won't ship the final version until September, said channel sources recently briefed by the company. Microsoft had planned to ship its enhanced messaging server midyear.

Given the economic malaise and slowdown in IT spending, the delays are not considered a major problem, sources in the channel said. However, one solution provider that is awaiting the release of Exchange 2003-- code-named Titanium--said it will affect the channel's services revenue in 2003.

"The impact to our business is that we see a lull between products," said Ted Dinsmore, president of Conchango, a Microsoft solution provider in New York. "Right now we're between 2000 vs. 2003 [Microsoft Exchange versions], and everyone is waiting six months before the product ships--no one wants to deploy the old one."

Flessner also provided an updated schedule for the next two versions of Visual Studio. The Whidbey release of Visual Studio, designed for the Yukon wave of products, will ship during the second half of 2004. The following version, currently code-named Orcas, is slated for 2005.

In 2005, Microsoft also plans to ship its Longhorn version of Windows, Office for Longhorn, Real-time Communications Server Version 2.0 and SharePoint Portal Server Version 3.0, Flessner added.

Further out, Microsoft expects to ship the next Windows server, code-named Blackcomb, in 2006. The software giant also plans to ship the Kodiak version of Exchange in 2006 and Microsoft System Center, which will unify all of Microsoft's management products in one offering.

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