Well, not exactly..
After teasing you on Friday with hints of what you'd hear in today's launch of SQL Server 2005, Visual Studio 2005, and Biztalk Server 2006, I’m pleased to say the information is out there, and more than worth your while.
My title here is a bit of hyperbole, of course, but one of the most exciting aspects of my employer’s approach to these new tools is the advent of Visual Studio Express and SQL Server Express. While MS has long made trial versions of our software available (and continues to do so with these new products), the Express versions are something new: free downloads, freely redistributable, without time limits. No, you can’t run 93,000 concurrent SAP users on SQL Server Express (you’ll need SQL Server Enterprise Edition and some pretty decent server iron to do that), but you will be able to access up to 4gB of database space and 1gB of RAM – in a free download! Visual Studio Express will also be available as a free download for one year – after that, its retail price will be $49.
This "pricing" structure (is free cheap enough for you?) allows students, hobbyists, and even the morbidly curious to exercise our tools without exercising their pocketbooks. Look here and you’ll see there’s no excuse.. no financial excuse, anyway.. not to be up to speed on these tools if you’re of a mind to be.
The other aspect of SQL Server 2005 I want to draw to your attention is, of course, the performance numbers. In addition to being certified for 93,000 concurrent SAP users (the largest SAP customers in the world typically have less than 3,000 concurrent users), SQL Server 2005 and Dell have broken the $1/tpmC barrier, achieving a world’s best $0.99/tpmC on this benchmark. The second through fourth price/performance rankings also belong to our products.
Look, I’m a technician to the bone. I’m usually allergic to "marketing websites". All I can tell you is that this is a very special platform. If you haven’t checked it out yet, you owe it to yourself to do so.