There has been no announcement from Microsoft on future releases of SQL Server beyond this year so we cannot predict accurately. We can speculate, however. The stated 3 year policy points to SQL Server 2011 but my sense is that would be too early after the newly release SQL Server 2008 R2. Shame as I was looking forward to the internal release number matching the year for the first time – SQL 11.0 would also be SQL 2011. That would be way too logical.
But using the internal release number could pay off. Using the year means you are always working in the past – look at Windows 95, 98, Millenium (urgh!), Windows 2000, 2005, 2008. Good old NT 4.0 was popular and you didn’t care what year it was released. The latest Windows7 is gaining some marketing and technological traction and is actually NT 7.0 under the hood. The current version of SQL Server 2008 R2 is SQL 10.5 internally. So why not SQL11 regardless of when it’s released?
When the projects Kilimanjaro, Madison and Gemini were announced in late 2008 I did predict the R2 strategy at that time as the most sensible: http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/36501
So now I think it is time for going back to internal release numbers as the way to go. SQL11 it is and you heard it here first!
Brian D. Egler, MCITP/MCSE/MCT 2009, is currently an instructor with Global Knowledge, teaching various Microsoft training courses. He is a SQL specialist with a focus on SQL Server, Windows, .Net and XML. Egler has been a technical instructor for over 20 years and has more than 10 years experience with SQL Server, data modeling, database design, application development including IMS, DB2, Sybase. Every year he runs the Boston Marathon for cancer research.