Microsoft began releasing SQL 2008 CTP5 yesterday through Connect. It should hit MSDN within a few days so everyone can play along. The most obvious change for this release is a much-needed improvement replacement of the installer. As I mentioned in an earlier post, the installer is being totally re-engineered. We still don't have clustering support in this CTP, but the basic installer changes are now included. While there are a few "fit and finish" items that need cleanup, the overall design of the installer is very good. The requirements checker is much lighter and cleaner. The install review presentation page is in a hierarchal form and actually makes sense. Best of all, you can specify separate default directories for system databases, user databases, user database log, tempdb data, tempdb log and backup target locations. Installation is one area where attention to detail and listening to customer feedback has given the SQL development team a significant win.