I wrote a while ago that ODBC continues to be a very important data connectivity interface: http://blogs.simba.com/simba_technologies_ceo_co/2007/11/odbc-rocks.html.  It has been over a decade since Microsoft last updated the ODBC specification and now with Windows 7, they are introducing ODBC 3.8.  There is a brief mention of it the the Microsoft SQL Server Native Client team blog: http://blogs.msdn.com/sqlnativeclient/archive/2009/01/17/odbc-3-8-is-in-beta-1-of-the-windows-7-sdk.aspx.  The main new features of ODBC 3.8 are: 

– executing connection operations asynchronously
– streamed output parameters
ODBC C data type extensibility
These seem to be features driven by SQL Server but most interesting is that the good folks at Microsoft are continuing to invest in ODBC which continues to be the de-facto open standard for relational database connectivity.