If you're into this sort of thing, Microsoft has now taken a step closer to the final release of SQL Server 2014 by offering a Community Preview 2 for download – or to run on Windows Azure.

If you've noticed, Microsoft has decided to stop using the "beta" term a lot lately and instead thrown beta products out to the public as "Previews." Today's release is the 2ndCommunity Technology Preview (CTP2) and will probably be the last prior to spit and polish. Previews allow customers to get a brief taste of product improvements and accomplished milestones to help build excitement for a public release.

You can choose to download an ISO or CAB file to run in a test environment in your own organization, or opt to just try out the Preview on Windows Azure.

Choose your options here: Microsoft SQL Server 2014 Community Technology Preview 2 (CTP2)