Exciting news! Microsoft announced today that SQL Server 2012 has released to manufacturing. Customers and partners can download an evaluation of the product today and can expect general availability to begin on April 1. Microsoft also announced today an additional preview of an Apache Hadoop-based service on Windows Azure that will be available in the first half of 2012 to connect SQL Server and integrated business intelligence tools with unstructured data. For more information about today’s news, check out Microsoft corporate vice president Ted Kummert’s post on the Official Microsoft Blog, and for even more information, check out the STB News Bytes Blog.

Tomorrow, don’t forget to attend the SQL Server 2012 Virtual Launch Event, featuring keynotes by Ted Kummert and Quentin Clark and a number of video presentations about SQL Server 2012 by other SQL Server experts.