There was a mail discussion today between a number of consultants at work regarding the upcoming BizTalk Server version. It was previously known as BizTalk Server 2009r2 but was announced this week to be named BizTalk Server 2010.
There were a few concerned voices about what customers that just purchased BizTalk 2009 are going to think about Microsofts name changing move. I myself cannot see a reason to be too concerned though, but rather see it as the correct decision from both Microsoft as well as the customers that just got BizTalk Server 2009.
I believe (without having talked to anyone at Microsoft) that the reason for changing the name is mainly two-fold: Firstly, the name will synch with Visual Studio 2010. Secondly, and probably most important, the name change will reset the support cycle for the product. If a 2009r2 release were to be, its support cycle would be based on the release date of the 2009 version. Now they will reset it to the day in this year that the 2010 version will be out. Since BizTalk Server vNext will be a bigger change in the platform partly due to AppFabric, it's vital to have a longer support cycle for the versions being released before vNext.
While 2010 will bring a few neat things that I'm looking forward to (a proper SFTP-adapter and new mapping tool among others), the customers that have 2009 will still not miss out on any major things. It's especially not worth delaying a roll-out of the BizTalk platform (or upgrade) based on the improvements we get this year.
So all in all, it feels as the correct move by Microsoft, and everybody should be happy.