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Microsoft's Data Direction: the Cloud

A recent blog post from Microsoft's data guru titled "What Drives Microsoft's Data Platform Vision?" provided a clear answer: the cloud. Well, duh.

No news there. For quite a while now, at Microsoft, it has been: "The cloud is the answer. What's the question?" Specific details data developers might be interested in, however, were scarce in the post by Quentin Clark, corporate vice president of the Data Platform Group. There was a lot of stuff like, "After the delivery of Microsoft SQL Server 2012 and Office 2013, we ramped-up our energy and sharpened our focus on the opportunities of cloud computing."

I found myself trying to read between the lines. Was there any new information here? Any subtle clues? Any news by omission? I became a Microsoftologist.

To explain: In the old days, before The Wall came crumbling down, news coming out of the Soviet Union was so skimpy it fostered an analysis technique called Kremlinology, wherein Western strategists tried to glean insights about the direction of the Evil Empire by noting little details like who stood next to whom in parade reviews and combing through speeches for hidden clues.

What struck me most: Where's the Big Data? The rest of the data development world is going crazy about Big Data, but in this post, not so much. It was cloud, cloud and more cloud. My Microsoftology revealed 13 references to "cloud" and seven to "Windows Azure." The total number of "Big Data" references? Two. But there was one reference to "HDInsight" and five to "Hadoop." So, total score: cloud, 20; Big Data, 8.

I also noted in other news that Microsoft development rock star Scott Guthrie (ScottGu) was reportedly named to be the new head of the cloud division, replacing the new CEO, Satya Nadella.

Hmm. Maybe if you're a Microsoft data developer, you should be "Getting Trained on Microsoft's Expanding Data Platform" by taking classes such as "Platform for Hybrid Cloud with SQL server 2014" and "Windows Azure SQL Database" rather than "Getting Started with Microsoft Big Data" and "Big Data Analytics," as featured in another blog post yesterday.

Then again, another Microsoft blog post last week noted: "Microsoft to Join the Big Data Conversation as an Elite Sponsor at Strata, Santa Clara, CA." Just joining the conversation? Maybe it's just late to the party.

What's your take on the future of data development on the Microsoft stack? Comment here or drop me a line.

Posted by David Ramel on 02/07/2014 at 12:18 PM


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