Database gurus among our readers will be pleased to hear the news that IBM has decided to follow Microsoft's example and launch a cut-down, free version of a large, mainstream database. Just as Microsoft has offered the Express version of SQLServer 2005, so IBM will make DB2 Express available, for free. Unlike SQLServer Express, which is Windows based, DB2 Express is aimed at not only Windows but Unix and Linux. As far as Linux goes, it currently supports Novell Open Enterprise Server 9, SuSE Enterprise Server 8 and 9, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 and 4, Asianux 1.0, Mandriva Corporate Server 3.0, Nitix 4.2.2a, Red Flag Advanced Server 4.1, and Ubuntu 5.04.

Download Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express Edition here.

Download DB2 Universal Database Express Edition for Linux and Windows here.

Personally, I plan on giving both of them a go.