The SQL Server 2012 official launch date will be March 7th, and the official launch site now has details of the agenda for the webcast that will go out then.
Of course, March 7th is not (necessarily) the product release date. Microsoft has a fine tradition of official launches that take place in the absence of any products, including the launch of SQL Server 2008. When that was launched in February 2008, we waited until August 2008 for the product to be available.
The two keynotes for the virtual launch show where Microsoft sees the buzz being in the database world - big data and cloud-ready. In addition, there will be 30 sessions about different aspects of SQL Server 2012, and a virtual expo-hall.
If you’re indifferent about a product launch, as opposed to a product actually being ready, Microsoft is at least offering incentives. If you participate in virtual launch activities like the keynote speech, technical demos and networking lounge, you can collect points that then let you enter prize draws for cash gift cards, SQL Server gear, and an Xbox. Not that they’re worried you won’t be watching, or anything.
Getting involved an a big open source project is well worth doing in terms of satisfaction, education and job prospects, but it's a tough thing to do. Now there is a set of "one video per concept" vid [ ... ]