Microsoft has pushed back the planned second-quarter release of its SQL Server 2008 database server until the third quarter. It is adamant, however, that there is no delay from its original commitment to ship this release within 24 to 36 months of SQL Server 2005.

According to a Microsoft blog posting:

… one of the top areas of focus for us is always to deliver a high quality product, and in a very predictable manner. This is vital for our customers and partners – which is why we’ve frequently discussed our goal of releasing SQL Server 2008 within 24-36 months after SQL Server 2005. We are on track to reach this goal.
… our goal is to deliver the highest quality product possible and we simply want to use the time to meet the high bar that you, our customers, expect.

Microsoft plans to ship the release candidate (RC) for SQL Server 2008 in the second quarter, with the final release to manufacturing (RTM) version expected in the third quarter

The new timetable for SQL Server 2008 will not affect plans for the concurrent release of Visual Studio, Windows Server, and SQL Server on Feb. 27.