In a move that surprised no one, Microsoft announced this week that they would be bundling their upcoming OLAP server--code-named "Plato"--with the next version of SQL Server, version 7.0.

"We're doing this is to make SQL Server succeed in the data warehousing market," said John Nordlinger, a SQL Server product manager. "The other rationale is we really want to make it so we can have business people doing multidimensional analysis without complex tools or hidden high costs."

The price of SQL Server 7.0, due in late 1998, will not be affected by the addition of Plato, which will not be sold as a separate package.