Microsoft announced SQL Server 2008 R2 at tech-ed yesterday. Here are just a couple of key benefits or new things

Support for more than 64 Logical Processors

New Extensions in SQL Server Management Studio

Manage Efficiently at Scale and Optimize Resources

New wizards will allows DBAs to quickly discover databases across their environment, enroll them into centralized multi-server management, and within about 15 minutes have insights into utilization
DBAs can will set policies to define a desired state utilization thresholds across target servers or applications within a new central management point
Dashboard viewpoints will provide real-time insight into utilization and policy violation to help identify consolidation opportunities, maximize investments and ultimately maintain healthy systems

Integration with Visual Studio

Enhance Collaboration between Development and IT

A new project type packages database schema with application requirements while built-in tools will help improve overall quality
DBAs will be able to deploy application packages to available servers that meet deployment criteria, helping streamline deployments, moves and changes.

More info and new things including “Project Gemini” can be found here: http://www.microsoft.com/sqlserver/2008/en/us/r2.aspx

You can also sign up to get notified when the SQL Server 2008 R2 Community Technology Preview (CTP) starts this summer