SQL Server 2012 : The "Launch Date" is not what you think it is
January 23rd, 20126
SQL Server 2012 : The "Launch Date" is not what you think it is
January 23rd, 20126

I see a lot of people getting really excited. There is a "virtual launch event" for SQL Server 2012 being held on March 7, 2012. You can read more about the event at http://sqlserverlaunch.com/.

Let me throw out a dose of reality: if you are not on a TAP or otherwise going live with a private build or release candidate, you will not be installing and deploying SQL Server 2012 on March 7th. I promise. This date will not mark a release, go-live, or general availability. These launch events are marketing-centric sessions to get you excited about the product. Will you be able to download Express editions from the Microsoft web site, and other SKUs from MSDN or your volume licensing portal, shortly after that? Sure. The next day? Almost certainly not. I actually don't remember the lag between the launch event (we'll call it a soft launch) and the RTM availability for previous releases, so I'm not going to throw out any conjecture there. But from all previous launch events by Microsoft, across various product lines, the CD/DVD/download has never been available at the same time as the event. Let's not forget that this virtual launch event is not the only "launch event" in March – later in the month, both SQL Connections and SQL Bits are also serving as launch events. Launch and release are similar words, but not identical.

Just wanted to keep it real, and prevent people from getting too excited or planning deployments around this launch event. It is just a marketing event, folks. Worth attending, no doubt, but you won't get magic golden tickets with a download code on that day.

PS If I end up being wrong, I'll just delete this post. 🙂

By: Aaron Bertrand

I am a passionate technologist with industry experience dating back to Classic ASP and SQL Server 6.5. I am a long-time Microsoft MVP, write at Simple Talk, SQLPerformance, and MSSQLTips, and have had the honor of speaking at more conferences than I can remember. In non-tech life, I am a husband, a father of two, a huge hockey and football fan, and my pronouns are he/him.

6 Responses

  1. AaronBertrand says:

    Agreed, however I don't really consider it "released" until I can legally deploy a normal RTM SKU (Standard, Enterprise or BI) to a real production server. As far as I can tell we are not going to be able to do that today. Perhaps I should have been more explicit when making my predictions, but I don't consider Eval to be a release.

  2. Andy says:

    SQL Server 2012 has RTM and is available for download in an evaluation form.  So not quite a full release but definitely a release

  3. Aaron Bertrand says:

    Steve, just wait for SP1. 🙂

  4. Steve Dybing says:

    It'll be nice when they get the launch event site completely working. I registered but the link I was sent to activate my registration fails. I guess this is the 1.0 release? 🙂

  5. AaronBertrand says:

    Oh, I didn't say the event wouldn't be worthwhile, or that folks won't enjoy it. I just don't want people to expect bits to be released that day. And you'd be surprised at the number of early adopters that will jump on new releases…

  6. DUH! says:

    Come on, besides TAP, who's going to plan a deployment right after launch anyway? Maybe people are excited just because of the sessions. I'm not sure it will be all marketing stuff. In any case, there's plenty of people that can enjoy high-level presentations, it's not like everyone is a die-hard SQL Server geek 😉