I was showing a visitor some of the new improvements we have in SQL Server 2008 and when I started SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS), he said "oh, I thought you had something new." He expected to see a new user interface for SQL Server 2008.
I don’t blame him. Microsoft had one interface for SQL Server 7, a slightly different one for 2000, and yet another for 2005. In fact, the change from 2000-2005 was quite dramatic.
If you have downloaded any of the CTP’s for SQL Server 2008, then you already know that we have retained SSMS for this release. There are a couple of primary reasons for that. First, we felt that changing the interface yet again would just slow you down. You’ve spent a lot of time learning ssms, so it doesn’t help you if we change it - at least not just 3 years later!
The other reason is that ssms is working for you, at least from the data we’ve collected. Sure, there are things we want to tweak, and bags we need to fix, but those are the kinds of things we’ve been working on. Don’t get me wrong here - there are entire areas in SMS that we have changed and improved. Some of those are "under the covers" fixing things like speed and capacity. Other work is more visual, like the new activity monitor and the new object Explorer details panel, and object search. I have a list of these improvements here, so I invite you to check that out.