While Microsoft is making its way toward the next generation of its data platform, the company is also kicking up a notch older releases of SQL Server. The free version of SQL Server 2008 is currently available for download, complete with the first service pack released earlier this year. Customers are free to leverage SQL Server 2008 Express when developing desktop and small server applications, and can also be redistributed by Independent Software vendors (ISVs). The SQL Server 2008 Express Service Pack 1 (SP1) bits are currently live and up for grabs on the Microsoft Download Center.
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