Guessing the SQL Server Denali Release Date


In July, I started a contest for readers to guess the SQL Server Denali release date.  People can leave a comment with their best guess, and the closest guess wins a USB-powered 7″ monitor.

Denali Release Date Guesses
Denali Release Date Guesses

We can see their 113 guesses so far at right.  We had a few readers who optimistically thought we’d get a release in July or September, but nearly 2/3 of the readers expected to see SQL Server Denali come out in 2011, and the most popular month guessed was November 2011.

Given what the public voiced here, I’m guessing there’s a big population of SQL Server people who expect to hear a 2011 release date at the PASS Summit next week.  Unfortunately, Microsoft has already hinted at other conferences that Denali will ship in the early part of 2012.  It’ll be interesting to hear how the attendees receive that news.

This might be a tough year to be a keynote speaker: Denali’s been in the hands of the public for a while, so it’s tough to do a big feature unveil when it’s not news.  The release doesn’t appear to be coming soon, so it’s tough to rally enthusiasm at this exact point in SQL Server’s development.

My fear is that Microsoft will say, “Since we’ve got nothing to announce around SQL Server, let’s go all in with Azure,” and bombard us with SQL Azure keynotes.  I like Azure for certain uses, and I’ve said before that I think private and public clouds are the future, but continuing to push Azure won’t lead to huge rounds of applause at the PASS Summit.  That message plays really well to pure developers at conferences like Build, Connections, Mix, and TechEd, but not so well to people who make their living managing on-premise databases or building BI processes around them.  It’s the old presenter adage – know your audience.

I haven’t yet heard whether I requalify for the Bloggers’ Table at the PASS Keynote, but if I do, I’ll liveblog the keynotes as I’ve done in the past.  I use Engadget’s liveblog style as my goal, but with less pictures since SQL Server keynotes don’t tend to photograph well, and I like to write the newest stuff on the bottom to make it easier to read later.  I think livetweeting the keynotes is fun, but it doesn’t leave an easy-to-follow record for people who can’t be there live.

If there’s something you’d like me to change about my liveblog style this year, let me know in the comments.  And by the way, if you haven’t entered a guess yet for the Denali release date, now’s your chance in the comments in that post.

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