Pontifications on Microsoft and the Tech Industry

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October 2009 Entries

A BI Star is Born: PowerPivot Will Receive Immediate Multi-Vendor Support

PowerPivot is the newly announced name for Microsoft’s (not yet released) self-service analytics product, formerly code-named “Gemini.” PowerPivot brings the power of OLAP analytics to end-users, by allowing them to create their own data models, drawing from conventional data warehouses as well as flat files, spreadsheets, and even data feeds and reports. It then allows for sophisticated drill-down analysis in Excel 2010 itself which will feature a new “Slicer” element in its user interface, essentially ......

Win7 vs. Vista: It’s a Thin Line Between Love and Hate

Windows Vista is the OS everyone loved to hate. Its replacement by Windows 7 is welcomed by just about everyone, and the initial reviews are excellent. Thank goodness. But let’s not let this go unanalyzed. “Beasta” is dead, but a post mortem is necessary. Let’s be factual about matters: when run on a decent PC (by late-2006 standards), that was designed for it, with the OS and all drivers pre-installed, Vista ran just fine, especially the 64-bit version. Yes, Vista used a lot of memory and CPU. Yes, ......

Windows 7 Launch: A Winner Hits the Channel

I attended the Windows 7 launch today, and the success of the product really hit close to home. I mean that literally, as the launch event itself was held in a NYC loft space that was walking distance from my home. But I mean it figuratively as well, because I think this version of Microsoft’s client operating system, and the company’s confidence and pride around it, harkens back to a time, toward the beginning of my career, when Windows really excited people and created a buzz. Tech commentator ......

SharePoint as BI and Data Platform

Day 2 of the SharePoint Conference has just about come and gone, and I’ve shifted my focus from yesterday’s pure developer angle to topics of data and business intelligence. And there has been a lot to see. I’m sitting in the last session of the day, attending the “Business Intelligence Power Hour” and began the day with an in-depth look at SharePoint’s Business Connectivity Services (BCS, formerly known as the Business Data Catalog, or BDC). I work very closely with Microsoft Business Intelligence ......

SharePoint Conference 2009: Product Maturity and the Developer Story

Day 1 of the Microsoft SharePoint Conference 2009 is almost over. The conference is impressive. There are over 7400 people in attendance, a number that represents 92% growth over last year and which tops this year’s Tech*Ed and MIX attendance combined. All this in a year when most events’ attendance is way down. That should tell you something about SharePoint, and should explain why Steve Ballmer, in his keynote at the conference this morning, said (1) he wasn’t going to start this keynote by talking ......

Getting Ready to Share

This is my 100th post to this blog, but it’s also, in a real sense, my first. That’s because, starting now, my blog will be syndicated on RedDevNews.com and VisualStudioMagazine.com, the same sites that carry my monthly column, Redmond Review. For those who haven’t read my posts or columns before, allow me to present a quick intro. (For everyone else, go ahead and skip to the next paragraph.) My name is Andrew Brust, and I’m a Microsoft MVP and Regional Director. I don’t work for Microsoft – they’ve ......