SQL Server 2005 SP2 RTMs with Unlimited Virtualization on Enterprise Edition 

Yesterday, Microsoft released SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 2 SP2 to manufacturing. Acknowledging the significance of virtualization to Microsoft's future business strategy, the company announced that it would allow unlimited virtual instances on SQL Server 2005 Enterprise Edition (SP2) features include the following.

Data Mining add-ins for the 2007 Microsoft Office system let you use SQL Server Analysis Services SSAS data mining from within Excel 2007 and Visio 2007

SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) integration with Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 provides integration with the Report Center in SharePoint enabling seamless consumption and management of SSRS reports within Microsoft Office SharePoint 2007.

SQL Server Analysis Services improvements increase Excel 2007 and Excel Services performance and functionality.

Data compression varDecimal, an important feature for data warehousing scenarios, requires less disk storage of decimal data increasing overall performance.

Manageability enhancements give you improved database maintenance plans enhanced management reports and a new Copy Database wizard.

Management reports added to SQL Server Express Edition provide data about the performance of Express Edition and SQL Server Compact Edition databases.

Interoperability improvements include Oracle support in the Report Builder and access to SQL Server Reporting Services to build reports on Hyperion's Essbase cubes.

During the first week after Windows Vista's launch the product's unit shipments and revenue were lower 58.9 percent and 32.1 percent respectively than unit shipments and revenue for Windows XP during its launch week in 2001 according to Chris Swenson of the NPD Group. But the price of the high-end Vista Ultimate version might help make up for the lackluster start.

Swenson said that during the week in which Vista launched the product's average selling price increased 65.5 percent to 207.13 compared with Windows OS sales during the same period in 2006. Furthermore, Vista Ultimate accounted for at least 30 percent of the unit shipments in the retail channel. These figures led Swenson to conclude that although total dollars were down compared with XP, the preliminary data shows that Microsoft's gamble on a new high-end Vista stock keeping unit (SKU) will help keep dollar volumes from declining as rapidly as unit volumes in the near term br br Vista sales were slower than expected during its launch week but PC sales during the same week were up 67 percent compared with Windows OS sales during the same period in 2006 according to the NPD Group's Steve Baker. "Of course, some of those PC purchases were probably delayed to coincide with Vista's availability on new hardware, but NPD sees a 67 percent increase in PC sales as representing a fair amount of growth," Swenson said. This preliminary data suggests that consumers are getting the message that they need a more robust system to take advantage of some of the new features in Vista and thus a relatively smaller number are opting to upgrade older machines with the new OS themselves.

However, the increases in average selling price and PC sales didn't stop the decline in Microsoft's stock value. The stock decreased by 2.2 percent to a share price of 28 81 in response to Steve Ballmer's statement that revenue forecasts for Vista had been overly aggressive.