Last year communication of BizTalk has been a little cloudy. Will it be discontinued, will it be dead. Richard blogged on the BizTalk future story, and Tony kept discussion very lively with his talk on World Partner Conference this year. In the roadmap on Microsoft BizTalk site a vNext after 2010 was depicted.
A new release has been announced through BizTalk Server Team Blog: BizTalk Server 2010 R2. This is great news as people wondered when next release was due. This release will be delivered six months after Windows Server 8. To me it makes sense as the release will align not only with Server 8, but also VS 2011 and SQL Server 2012. Besides platform alignment other improvements have been announced like alignment with industry standards, adapter improvements, and more tighter integration with Azure. The release does not deviate much as what was shown on existing roadmap.
Exact dates of release of BizTalk Server 2010 R2 are not disclosed yet. I think when it will be release it will probably be renamed BizTalk Server 2012 or BizTalk Server 8. I personally am very happy with the announcement of this release and Microsoft continuing support for this great product and dedication to keep improving it. BizTalk is not dead or going away soon and I think it to stay for a long time.