SQL Server 'Katmai', which is the upcoming version of SQL Server, promised in 2008, has many new enhancements, including but not limited to the ability 'to handle, store and manage all data types natively rather than converting them into Binary Large Objects (Blobs).'
This sends SQL Server beyond relational data to include 'documents, geographic information and XML.' Which means you 'could search YouTube based on an image rather than keywords, or a shopper wanting a red, V-neck T-shirt could search multiple sites using a scanned image rather than typing a bunch of keywords into a search engine.'
Other new stuff includes 'emphasis on scalability for BI,' while that doesn't say much, it still remains to be seen what else will the new version bring in.
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