SQL Server 2008 has hit RTM, and free trial software now available
According to a few sources (e.g. Gail Shaw), Microsoft announced today at TechEd South Africa that SQL Server 2008 has hit RTM. For those that aren't aware, this just means that the code has been signed off, not that it is being placed on store shelves today. It takes some time to manufacture and distribute media, so I am not sure when it will be available at the retail level. But the download ISOs are available from MSDN Subscriber Downloads right now! You will notice that the following editions are available: Developer, Standard, Enterprise, Web and Workgroup. I'll be watching for the availability of Express Edition, which is absent from the list at this time.
And if you aren't one of the lucky ones with an MSDN/TechNet subscription, 180-day trial software (Evaluation Edition) is available here. You will also find links to demos and virtual labs, where you can get a taste for the new version without having to download or install anything.
For those interested in the build #, @@VERSION returns:
Microsoft SQL Server 2008 (RTM) - 10.0.1600.22 (Intel X86)
Jul 9 2008 14:43:34 ...