A couple of days ago, the official release date of SQL Server 2008 R2 was announced. SQL Server 2008 R2 will be made available in May 2010.
As mentioned in the announcement, key customer benefits include:
· A trusted and scalable platform with high availability, Master Data Services supporting data consistency across heterogeneous systems, StreamInsight enabling high-scale complex event processing, and support for high scale applications with up to 256 logical processors.
· IT and developer efficiency through central management of multiple database applications, instances or servers, accelerating the development and deployment of applications and providing improved support for virtualization and Live Migration through Hyper-V™ in Windows Server 2008 R2.
· Managed self-service business intelligence empowering a new class of business users to build and share powerful BI solutions with little to no IT support, while still enabling IT to monitor and manage end-user generated BI solutions with the new PowerPivot for Excel and PowerPivot for SharePoint
You can still download the November CTP of SQL Server 2008 R2 from http://www.microsoft.com/sqlserver/2008/en/us/R2Downloads.aspx