The first Release Candidate (0) of the long awaited SQL Server 2008 has been made available on MSDN. One thing I did not know was that Microsoft purchased Dundas Charting last year, and their components are to feature in the forthcoming SQL Server 2008 release. You can find information on the changes here.
Since Dundas are the leaders in data visualisation, especially for business intelligence, this is most welcome. When you consider the cost of a single Dundas license is usually around the $700 mark, ouch! SQL Express users will not be ostracized either, as a special SQL express version with advanced services including reporting will be freely available. I hated the fact the SQL 2005 Express, or the Full version, had reporting solutions that had to be performed in IIS. This is no longer the case, and I can see some fantastic applications for this in future.