11 March 2004 Microsoft has pushed back the release of its forthcoming SQL Server database and Visual Studio.Net development tool, despite the fact that customers have already purchased upgrades.
The launches of these two key software products were scheduled for the end of this year. But Microsoft has disclosed that they will now not be shipped until the first half of 2005.
Many large organisations had signed contracts in the expectation that they would have the right to upgrade to the next version of SQL within a two or three year time frame. A number are now likely to see their contracts expire without being offered SQL Server 2005 in replacement.
The move, warn analysts, is expected to cost the software giant renewals of many long-term licensing contracts. But the impact on the giant’s future revenue is not likely to be profound, they say.
Microsoft has also been encouraging businesses to purchase automatic upgrade licences for its Windows operating system and its Office application suite, the company’s most profitable products. But chief financial officers that feel they did not get their money’s worth from a SQL Server upgrade licence are more likely to shy away from Microsoft’s automatic upgrade programme altogether, said Rob Helm, an analyst at research group Direction.
SQL Server 2005, code-named “Yukon”, needs more testing at customer sites to ensure its security and reliability, claimed Microsoft. Because the newest release of Visual Studio, a set of software development tools code-named “Whidbey”, was designed to work alongside SQL Server, that launch was delayed as well.
“Microsoft made the decision to delay the delivery of these products to ensure that they meet the high quality requirements of our customers,” read the statement.