The release of Microsoft SQL Server 7.0--code-named "Sphinx"--may slip again, this time to late 1998 or early 1999. Originally due in 1997, Sphinx was delayed earlier this year to mid-1998, but Microsoft officials have confirmed that the release has slipped again.

SQL Server lead product manager John Nordlinger says that while a July launch is still possible, fall or winter 1998 are more likely. Microsoft, he says, is looking for the right time to launch the product.

Though Microsoft hasn't decided how it will package it, they will be releasing an OLAP server code-named "Plato" simultaneously with Sphinx. The company may end up bundling Plato with Sphinx for free