Standardised SQL.

It's not a problem unique to MS SQL Server, unfortunately, as *all* the database engines have their unique variant of SQL - Oracle, Sybase, even MySQL and PostGresQL. Some have fewer extensions than others, mind you, but few OTS applications are capable of talking to 'any' SQL backend: they are almost always coded to talk to a specific one. It's a bit like the home computer BASIC wars writ large.