A few people have asked me what my favourite thing is in SQL Server 2008 ("Katmai"). But my favourite thing isn't actually a feature at all, it's a mindset that Microsoft are taking with it.
This mindset is "We will only put features into the CTPs once they are basically complete – including the documentation." And this makes me say "Wow!".
One of the problems with all beta software is the stuff that's in there that just isn't finished yet. You try to use some feature, and it doesn't work. Or worse, something dies because you tried it. It's these scenarios that stop people trying out betas, and seeing people using the previous version still nearly two years after release (It's now over 21 months since SQL 2005 was released).
Not the case with SQL Server 2008 though. Functionality may be limited, but hopefully new features should be both stable and documented when they appear. So now because this is the case, people should be able to port their systems over before release, confident that features won't be changing significantly between that time and RTM.
This week at my user-group I'm giving a talk on MERGE & TVPs. Two essentially different topics, but ones that compliment each other nicely. I think people will be leaving this meeting picturing places in their code where they want to refactor it to take advantage of these new features.