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Microsoft SQL Server 2005: The next generation

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer called the launch of SQL Server 2005, Visual Studio 2005 and BizTalk 2006 the start of the next generation of "broad applications platform."

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer formally unveiled the long-awaited new release of database product SQL Server 2005 and developer tool Visual Studio 2005 on Monday, stressing the potential of the three products to provide an integrated development platform.

"It's really this cycle of products that gives us the next generation of our applications platform," Ballmer said at the launch event in San Francisco. He said today's releases, along with upcoming updates to Office and SharePoint, were the culmination of "all the concepts we've been building over the past five years."

Ballmer conceded that the five-year lag between SQL Server releases was too long. " "We had a little bit of work to do," he said. "We learned a few things about security in the past few years, and I'll be darned if we weren't going to include that in our products."

He described a vision of a "broader applications platform" that encompassed everything from Windows clients to .NET and would be built on "common technologies" and take advantage of the familiarity of existing Microsoft products to offer "security, usability, and scalability."

"We're going to try to make sure the whole Microsoft environment is greater than the sum of its parts," Ballmer said.

The launch also kicked off a two-month product introduction tour that will bring workshops on how to use the products to 200 cities in 90 countries.

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