Microsoft today released additional details on the next version of SQL Server. Specifically, the next release of SQL Server, formerly code-named SQL Server "Katmai," will now be known as SQL Server 2008. Also, the availability of the first SQL Server 2008 Community Technology Preview (CTP) is now available for customer download.

With the June CTP release of SQL Server 2008, customers can immediately utilize new capabilities that support mission-critical applications and enable pervasive insight across the enterprise. This CTP lays the groundwork for innovative policy-based management that enables administrators to reduce their time spent on maintenance tasks. This CTP provides enhancements for business intelligence by enabling customers to provide up-to- date information with Change Data Capture and MERGE features, and develop highly scalable analysis services cubes with new development environments.

This CTP builds upon the robust platform of SQL Server 2005 and continues to improve the functionality in key areas like Manageability and Replication. Customers will get to see more features as we deliver additional CTP's over the next coming months. We plan to release SQL Server 2008 CTP's every 60 days which will deliver additional capabilities for customers to test and provide feedback.

See more details on SQL Server 2008 here:

http://www.microsoft.com/sql/prodinfo/futureversion/default.mspx