Yesterday, in a stunning move that will likely have ramifications for the next Windows version (code-named Longhorn), Microsoft delayed the next versions of SQL Server (code-named Yukon) and Visual Studio .NET (code-named Whidbey) from late 2004 until the first half of 2005. Both products have been in beta since last fall, and Microsoft issued early releases of both to Microsoft Professional Developers Conference (PDC) 2003 attendees in October.
   "Microsoft made the decision to delay the delivery of these products to ensure that they meet the high-quality requirements of our customers," a Microsoft representative told me yesterday. "We are still on track to deliver SQL Server Yukon Beta 2 and Visual Studio \[.NET\] Whidbey Beta 1 in the coming months."
   Yukon and Whidbey comprise the Yukon wave of products that Microsoft says it will ship prior to the Longhorn wave, which will include new versions of Microsoft Office, MSN, Visual Studio .NET, Windows, Windows Server, and other products. If Microsoft delays the Yukon products until 2005, Longhorn probably won't ship until the first half of 2006 at the earliest.