Microsoft Joins Customers and Partners to Launch SQL Server 2005, Visual Studio 2005 and BizTalk Server 2006
Nov. 07, 2005
Microsoft highlights expanded product line spanning enterprises to students and hobbyists, shows unparalleled customer and partner involvement in product development.

SAN FRANCISCO — Nov. 7, 2005 — Microsoft customers and partners gathered today to show their support for the launch of Microsoft® SQL Server™ 2005 and Visual Studio® 2005 and the upcoming release of BizTalk® Server 2006. Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer kicked off the event by highlighting the tens of thousands of customers and partners that played a major role in the product development process, providing ongoing input to deliver the next evolution in Microsoft’s application platform. Ballmer showed that with today’s launch, Microsoft Corp. is delivering a broad family of developer tools and server software that enable businesses to better connect their people, business processes and information, and give customers the ability to make better decisions faster.

“Through deep collaboration with our customers and partners, today we’re delivering powerful new platform capabilities with unprecedented integration between the server infrastructure and development tools,” Ballmer said. “We’re enabling people to gain more insight into their businesses and play an even bigger role in the success of their organizations.”

New Capabilities Enable People to Make Better Decisions Faster

The advancements Microsoft is delivering with Microsoft SQL Server 2005, Visual Studio 2005 and BizTalk Server 2006 build on the foundation put in place over the last several years with significant investments in Windows Server™ 2003 and Microsoft .NET, providing developers and IT professionals with a dependable application platform that has underlying support for Web services and service orientation capabilities. The deeper integration of the server and tools with today’s releases enables a host of innovative scenarios and range of new capabilities:

  • Visual Studio 2005 and the .NET Framework 2.0 enable developers and development teams to build high-performance, security-enhanced and reliable solutions using an enterprise-ready development platform. Visual Studio 2005 features an expanded set of tools including Visual Studio Team System, an extensible life-cycle tools platform that enables collaboration among software development teams to deliver modern service-oriented solutions.

  • Microsoft SQL Server 2005 provides an integrated data management and analysis platform that helps organizations reliably manage mission-critical information and confidently run complex business applications. With embedded reporting and data analysis tools included with SQL Server 2005, companies can gain greater insight from their business information.

  • BizTalk Server 2006 delivers new features that enable enterprises to better monitor, manage and deploy their mission-critical business processes.

In addition, Microsoft announced that it will include 16 new integration adapters in BizTalk Server 2006 Enterprise and Standard editions at no additional charge to customers. The move gives customers native interoperability to industry-leading business applications such as PeopleSoft, Siebel, Oracle Database Connector and Oracle Application Suite. More details on today’s announcement are available in the press release section of http://www.microsoft.com/presspass.

Microsoft Delivers Increased Value and Functionality With Expanded Product Line

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer keynotes the launch of Microsoft SQL Server 2005 and Visual Studio 2005 and the upcoming release of BizTalk Server 2006, San Francisco, Nov. 7, 2005.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer keynotes the launch of Microsoft SQL Server 2005 and Visual Studio 2005 and the upcoming release of BizTalk Server 2006, San Francisco, Nov. 7, 2005.
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Furthering Microsoft’s move to more role-specific software, Ballmer highlighted the expanded set of product offerings designed to meet the unique requirements of audiences that span from hobbyists and students through professional developers and IT professionals to enterprise architects and development teams. Ballmer noted the importance of the Express family of products by demonstrating that, with the Visual Studio 2005 Express family and SQL Server 2005 Express Edition, Microsoft provides easy-to-use database and development tools to Web developers and students so they can construct Windows®-based applications and Web sites for personal use and enjoyment at no cost.

Expanding the resources available to hobbyists and enthusiasts using the Express products, Microsoft also announced today the immediate availability of the Express Do-It-Yourself Kit, a collection of award-winning artwork from Corbis, icons from the Microsoft icon gallery, templates, instructional videos and other useful resources.

As a part of Microsoft’s new tools for enterprise customers, Ballmer highlighted SQL Server 2005 Enterprise Edition and BizTalk Server 2006 Enterprise Edition and detailed Visual Studio Team System, a new expansion of the Visual Studio product line designed to address the growing complexity of the software development life cycle. Ballmer highlighted the deep integration of Visual Studio Team System with SQL Server 2005 and BizTalk Server 2006 and showed that together these products help break down the barriers between the architect, tester, developer and project manager to enable better collaboration across distributed environments and speed business-driven software delivery.

“Of all the superplatform vendors, Microsoft provides the most cohesive solution,” said Anne Thomas Manes, vice president and research director at Burton Group. “Microsoft’s strategy of tightly integrating the application platform with the underlying operating system enables a bedrock foundation for management, administration, security and tooling that provides a single, consistent, easy experience throughout the platform. Microsoft also offers excellent support for Web services and collaboration. 2005 will be a milestone year for Microsoft as it delivers a number of significant enhancements to the superplatform, including version 2.0 of the .NET Framework and new releases of Visual Studio, SQL Server and BizTalk.”

Customers Achieve Greater Business Value With Microsoft’s New Platform Capabilities

Some of the world’s largest customers, including Barclays Capital, Barnes & Noble, Citigroup and HMV, have taken advantage of Microsoft’s application platform to increase the business value of their software investments across their organizations. For example, Barclays Capital redesigned its core fixed asset trading application, improving the number of trades per second and reducing system downtime. HMV wanted to create an easy-to-use, always-available online digital music service for its over 200 physical stores as well as its online store.

“Our customers expect our applications to always be available,” said David Cameron, head of software development at HMV, the United Kingdom’s largest music retailer. “High availability isn’t good enough; it has to be on 100 percent of the time. The experience with developing our HMV Digital service has been excellent. We developed the product in record time using Visual Studio 2005, and SQL Server 2005 has done exactly what we hoped it would in providing continuous availability.”

Expanded Opportunity for Industry Partners

In addition to the customers supporting the launch, Microsoft highlighted the unprecedented partner momentum underscoring the new partner growth opportunities in the database, business process and application life-cycle management markets, as well as a new breed of partners that are able to better compete in the Web hosting, hobbyist and enthusiast markets with Visual Studio and SQL Server 2005 Express editions. These partners have benefited from early exposure to these products, specialized programs and a consistent application programming interface (API) model that offers easier and tighter integration with the Microsoft application platform for a richer customer experience.

More than 1,500 partners worldwide plan to ship solutions built on top of SQL Server 2005. Similarly, the Visual Studio Industry Partner program, which has grown tenfold since inception, has 235 members shipping over 800 products that extend developer offerings with the Visual Studio integrated development environment and with the new Visual Studio Team System application life-cycle environment. In addition, more than 600 industry partners are preparing for the upcoming release of BizTalk Server 2006.

Hundreds of partners rallied today to help Microsoft celebrate the availability of SQL Server 2005, Visual Studio 2005 and the upcoming release of BizTalk Server 2006. These partners include Accenture, Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD), Avanade, Business Objects SA, Capgemini, Dell Inc., EDS, Fujitsu Computer Systems Corp., Hitachi, HP, IBM Corp., Intel Corporation, NEC Solutions America Inc., SAP, Sogeti USA LLC, Symantec Corp. and Unisys. More than 90 partner announcements today also support these products. A complete list of announcements can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/events/novlaunch/default.mspx.

Industry Validation of Performance Gains

Microsoft also announced several new benchmark results that demonstrate the performance gains achieved with SQL Server 2005 and Visual Studio 2005. The validation from these benchmarks enables customers to better understand the real-world scenarios supported by these products:

  • The platform for mission-critical applications. The latest SAP Sales and Distribution three-tier standard application benchmark, using SQL Server 2005 and Windows Server 2003 running on HP and Intel hardware, delivered record-breaking results with 93,000 concurrent users. This new 64-processor benchmark, certified on Nov 3, 2005, on SAP release mySAP ERP 2004, is 3.5 times more scalable than SQL Server 2000 and demonstrates SQL Server 2005’s enterprise-class abilities.*

  • Superior price/performance. Today, Microsoft, with industry partners AMD, Bull, Dell, HP, Intel, NEC and Unisys, announced several new TPC benchmarks running SQL Server 2005 that demonstrate its industry-leading value and performance. The benchmarks prove that Microsoft delivers record-breaking performance and price/performance on commodity hardware, plus scalability on high-end servers to handle enterprise-class requirements for OLTP and data warehousing.

  • Exploiting the benefits of integration. Validating the integration of SQL Server 2005 and the .NET Framework 2.0, new benchmarks show the platform provides 183 percent better performance than equivalently coded EJB-applications running on IBM WebSphere 6.0 against and Oracle 10G backend. Further, price/performance tests demonstrate the .NET Framework running on Windows Server 2003 costs about half of IBM WebSphere running on RedHat Linux Advanced Server in test environments.

  • The power of 64-bit. The new CachePerf benchmark demonstrates the significant advantage the 64-bit architecture provides in terms of memory addressability and the specific midtier and data-tier scenarios where customers can look to 64-bit systems to significantly outperform 32-bit systems.

Further information on the SQL Server 2005 benchmarks can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/sql/prodinfo/compare/benchmarks.mspx. In addition, the .NET Framework 2.0 benchmarks may be found at http://msdn.microsoft.com/vstudio/java/compare.

Product Information, Pricing and Availability

Pricing and licensing information for SQL Server 2005, Visual Studio 2005 and BizTalk Server 2006 may be found at http://msdn.microsoft.com/launch2005. Subscribers to MSDN® and Microsoft TechNet can download these products immediately from their respective subscriber download centers.

SQL Server 2005 Express Edition is available at no cost to users. Visual Studio 2005 Express products will retail at $49 (U.S.), with promotional discounts available at no cost. The products and resources are available now at http://msdn.microsoft.com/vstudio. To further enable people to drive business success, Microsoft also announced an offer of 150,000 vouchers for free certification exams, a value for customers totaling $15 million, which will be available to customers attending launch events in more than 50 countries. The free exams will help customers and partners drive business results by building their skills in the new technology, facilitating early adoption and deployment of these new products.

Finally, attendees of the San Francisco launch event were also given a complimentary version of SQL Server 2005 and Visual Studio 2005 as thanks for their continued support throughout the development process.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

* Certification Number 2005045. For more details see http://www.sap.com/benchmark

Microsoft, Visual Studio, BizTalk, Windows Server, Windows and MSDN are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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