By now I'm sure you have heard about this whole launch announcement thing from Doug Seven among others. We said that we will have launch events for Visual Studio 2008, SQL Server 2008, and Windows Server 2008 on February 27th, 2008. But unfortunately there seems to be a disconnect in some people's minds between what exactly "launch" and "ship/release" mean. Granted the confusion sits squarely with us and therefore I feel compelled to make sure we all know the difference:
Ship/Release = when we will actually RTM the bits for distribution
Launch = something cool the marketing folks do to have synergies with their paradigms so they can have more diagrams about market penetration and other coolness
So...Ship/Release is when we will get it out and Launch is when we will have a BIG party courtesy of the marketing folks -- pretty much the only time we let them out of their cage. With this in mind we intend to ship/release the products several months before they are launched. How soon? While I don't have any official word on all the products ship dates yet, I can say unofficially that it will be before the launch events. As my partner in crime, Chris Koenig, pointed out, from Doug's original comments:
"[...] Visual Studio will [ship] before the end of [the calendar year 2007]"
While we are on this topic there is one more thing I would like to bring up. Some may ask why aren't we calling the products Visual Studio 2007, etc...? After all they are going RTM in 2007, right? Well yes and no. They are going RTM in the calendar year 2007 but at MS our fiscal year is from July to July. So we are now in fiscal year 2008 (FY08) thus for us it basically is 2008 for all intents and purposes.
That's pretty much it, enjoy 🙂