On top of new features in the next version of SQL Server 2008 the most alluring attribute should be that the database's price will not change, according to Microsoft.
The news came from Ted Kummert, corporate vice president for the data and storage platform at Microsoft, and drew rousing applause from the about 2,000 SQL Server users gathered at their annual Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS) Summit.
The per-processor retail pricing of SQL Server 2005 is $24,999 (£12,250).
Kummert also laid out the foundational elements of SQL Server 2008, which is slated to ship between April and 30 June next year.
He used a series of demos to whip up excitement around SQL Server 2008 even as more than half of the database's users have yet to migrate to the 2005 version, which Microsoft considers the migration stepping stone to SQL Server 2008.
Last month Microsoft confirmed that SQL Server 2008 was on track to ship in the second quarter next year.
Find your next job with computerworld UK jobs