I have a dream…
…that SQL Server setup will someday be less of a mystery, especially to new users. One of the first things I would like them to do is to remove Compact Edition from setup entirely. If I really want Compact Edition stuff (I would guess that most people do not need it), make me go download an add-on somewhere. For the rest of us who couldn't be bothered with it in the first place, keep it out of our way. (See Connect Item #312002.)
Two issues with Compact Edition were brought to light in the November CTP of Katmai: both involve queries in Management Studio that will hang if you (a) install Compact Edition in an "unexpected" place (see Connect Item #321309), or (b) remove Compact Edition components after installation (see Connect Item #319045).
More importantly, I would really like to see a post-install screen which prompts you to install further updates. When SQL Server 2008 is first released, this is not important, of course — since the CD should not be obsolete at least for a couple of months. But since we obviously aren't going to be supporting slipstreaming service packs onto the CD and redistributing the media anytime soon, the minute a service pack is released, there should be an easy way for the very next installation to know about it and tell the user, hey, when you're done here, go get this service pack!
The thought of this came about from two very different angles. The first was remembering exactly how this happens in Visual Studio. You install the suite, and at the end, you have an option to go check for updates and install them. The other was this annoying problem where SQL Server 2008 does not natively support importing data from Office 2007 files. However, it does support Office 2003 and previous. What is Microsoft's answer? Go download some ACE OLEDB drivers and use those. Yep, that's real intuitive! So, I thought, why can't we prompt the user to go download these drivers, in the style of Visual Studio? At the end of setup, you can say, hey Joe, if you're planning to use Access 2007 or Excel 2007 with SQL Server, you should probably go get these ACE OLEDB drivers. (In the current situation, the user would probably find that out if they did a search of Google Groups, and knew what to look for!) The summary screen could also say, oh and Service Pack 1 was released last week, you should go get that, too.
I have some other ideas for what can be included (maybe even Compact Edition!), but I'll let you read about them in the suggestion I made: Connect Item #321028. There are only 2 votes so far, and I know this idea must appeal to some of you!