With SQL Server 2008 sent to RTM, Redmond folks are already busy working on their next version of Microsoft SQL Server. This new version is code-named Kilimanjaro.
On the heels of success of Microsoft Performance Point Server, Microsoft is all geared to give very tough
competition to the others in the Business Intelligence arena. The consolidation of the player in Business Intelligence market with SAP gobbling up Business Objects, IBM getting its hands on
Cognos, Oracle taking on Hyperion and Microsoft which picked up Proclarity (which is now integral to Performance Point). SAS is perhaps only large pure-play player left in this arena.
Microsoft has made its position into the Leaders quadrant with SQL Server 2005 and now Performance point. With Kilimanjaro it wants to further strengthen its hold on this segment. A proposed BI Appliance code-named “Madison” and another BI product “Gemini”, are expected to bring Business Intelligence to the masses.
While there are questions whether the world is ready for this three year cycle of refresh, primarily because, it is estimated that 81% of SQL Server users run 2000, about 40% are using 2005, Microsoft believes that it can offer flexible options for its users to upgrade (read licensing). Mainly it is about pushing the envelope on Technology enhancement.
Experts still consider Microsoft Technologies on this front to be weaker when compared to competitors such as IBM and Oracle. However with Kilimanjaro Microsoft aims to change the equation. Whether they will succeed in this only time will tell.
By the way if you are interested reading more about these interesting(or not) code names of Microsoft, read this compilation on Wikipedia.