When SMS texting first came out I am absolutely sure the mobile phone companies had no idea how popular it would be or the type of use it would be put to.
SQL Server 208 R2 is not a revolution on the same scale, but things like PowerPivot, StreamInsight and Master Data Management are significant new capabilities. While we at Microsoft in the UK can see some obvious applications of these new features we are very interested in what is actually being tried out with the thousands of copies of the beta that have been downloaded. So if you’re able to share what your up to I’d love to hear from you.
I'm a mid-enterprise solution architect and commonly work with clients who don't know what version they're using as long as it stores their data, however I see R2 as having features which will excite a new audience that SQL Server has never had a compelling offering for – business users. My feeling is PowerPivot will push powerusers to enquire and then request it on their PCs, then they’ll want the SSRS facilities and then full SSAS integration, rather than IT responding with a technology solution to a business request. As has always been the case I suspect developers will like the features whatever the current offer gives them, and there’s some nice ones in 2008 R1/R2 and adopt them for new projects, but I wonder how many people will upgrade existing platforms?