No Microsoft release is about technology alone. Expect Microsoft to enlist more independent software vendors (ISVs) to build applications based on SQL Server. In mid-July, Microsoft announced that 1000 applications run on SQL Server. Although that's a handsome figure, it still pales in comparison with IBM's (10,000+) and Oracle's (10,000) application numbers.

Expect to see Microsoft continue to promote the SQL Server brand by offering its Microsoft Certified Database Administrator (MCDBA) certification. For more information, see Kalen Delaney, "Microsoft MCDBA Certification," on the SQL Server Magazine