The latest version of Microsoft's database platform was expected to be released in the first half of next year, and it looks like it will drop with a month or two to spare.
The company confirmed this week that SQL Server 2008 R2 is set for general availability by May 6, 2010. The deadline is not an official launch date, and the product could actually be out before that time. The date was included in a Microsoft blog post about new TPC results published by Unisys for SQL Server 2008 R2 and Windows Server 2008 R2.
The second community technical preview (CTP) for SQL Server 2008 R2 was released in November and is currently available for download. The upcoming release is reportedly feature-complete, including the new Master Data Services feature and enhancements to SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS).
A CTP for Microsoft's PowerPivot for Excel was also made available last month. Formerly codenamed Gemini, PowerPivot is the company's long-developed self-service business intelligence technology. No deadline has been set for its release, though it is expected to be out in the same timeframe as SQL Server 2008 R2.