At Tech Ed EMEA today SQL Server Compact Edition RC1, formerly known as Everywhere edition, was announced for general availability. The direct download page is at: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=85E0C3CE-3FA1-453A-8CE9-AF6CA20946C3&displaylang=en, but I encourage you to check out the main page for Compact Edition at: http://www.microsoft.com/sql/compact The page will have links to a comparison between Compact and Express edition as well as other related links.
As noted in my previous blog post, this is basically the released product, with one minor change, the name <g>. Because the product is localized in aprox 20 different languages, it will take the team a few weeks to finalize the RTM version. The final release will be before the end of the year.
This release includes updates to the Visual Studio tools.
Why release the RC if the final build is only a few weeks away?
Because we continually hear from customers they want it now. Rather than wait a few weeks for the same product we already have, we decided to give users an update since the June CTP. This allows developers who can finish their apps in a few weeks to get a jump start.