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Changes included in this release include added core capabilities for increased mission critical confidence, new functionality in the Power View data-exploration and visualization tool, and snapshot backups in Windows Azure from within the Management Studio. The final release is expected to ship in early 2012.
This week Microsoft announced the release of the almost final test build of SQL Server 2012, codenamed "Denali". The software, Release Candidate (RC) 0 of SQL Server 2012, is now available for developers to download from Microsoft.