I have heard SQL Server 2008 described as SQL Server 2005 sp4 implying that there isn't a significant amount of new features in the new release. This perception has partly come from the Community Technology Preview (CTP) program has changed for the next release. For SQL Server 2005 each CTP showed the latest state of play of every feature now matter what state it was in. That gave you all of you a good idea of the totally of the product, but the downside was the performance and reliability of these new features was very patchy. That seemed to cause a lot of concern so the product team only add in fully fledged feature into a particular CTP. For example, in CTP 4, key changes were made to the reporting services architecture and the Dundas charting engine was added in. There is one partially developed feature and that is the report builder and the reason for this is for you to try the new tablix control (I'll cover that separately in another post). The full list of the changes is in the what's new section of Books On-Line in each CTP.
There have been tens of thousands of downloads of the various CTP builds from the Connect site, So there is a lot of interest in it. What I want to find out is what you are actually doing with it, so please comment, e-mail me or phone.
If it's sitting on your hard drive and you would rather find out from the experts, then there are two upcoming events, run by the SQL Server Community:
On 26 Sep come along to IMG offices in Holborn to listen to what partners and MVP's are excited about in the new release. Register Here.
If that's not enough take out a Saturday to come to SQL Bits at the Microsoft campus in Reading where there will be a track on SQL Server 2008. Register Here.