Microsoft today officially launches SQL Server 2005, delayed several times as engineers sought to make the software more reliable and secure.
Apart from databases, both Microsoft and Oracle are investing in business software, which allows companies to track customer accounts, manage payroll, finances and human resources.
Along with SQL Server, Microsoft is also launching Visual Studio 2005, a software tools program used to create applications, and said it would launch a program for tracking business processes, called BizTalk Server 2006, next year.
In order to promote the use of SQL Server and Visual Studio, Microsoft also said that it would offer free versions of the two programs for personal use so that individuals can create their own databases, Web sites and software programs.
For me the interesting part is that last announcement. Microsoft is finally giving in to two key trends: free software, thanks to the open source movement, and server based software, thanks to their announcement last week vis a vis 'live'.
Microsoft really must be afraid of both Google and Linux!