Microsoft reveals new data platform for era of ambient intelligence’

Microsoft has launched the newest version of its widely deployed database, SQL Server 2014.

During the launch, CEO Satya Nadella outlined the company’s path to deliver a platform for ‘ambient intelligence.’

Nadella stressed the importance of a data culture — one that encourages curiosity, action and experimentation for everyone and every organisation.

Microsoft also shared the results of new IDC research that showed companies that take a comprehensive approach to data stand to realise an additional 60% return on their data assets — a worldwide opportunity of $1.6 trillion.

“The era of ambient intelligence has begun, and we are delivering a platform that allows companies of any size to create a data culture and ensure insights reach every individual in every organisation,” Nadella said.

SQL Server 2014 boasts built-in in-memory technology and public cloud scale and disaster recovery with Microsoft Azure.

Microsoft also revealed a limited public preview of the Microsoft Azure Intelligent Systems Service, which it said helps customers embrace the Internet of Things and securely connect to, manage and capture machine-generated data from sensors and devices, regardless of operating system.

Furthermore, the company announced general availability of its Analytics Platform System (APS), which combines Microsoft’s SQL Server database and Hadoop technology to deliver ‘big data in a box’.

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These new solutions build on 12 months of innovation at Microsoft, including Power BI for Office 365, a cloud-based self-service BI solution with natural language capability, Azure HDInsight for elastic Hadoop in the cloud, PolyBase to bring structured and unstructured data together in a data warehouse appliance, and Power Query for Excel, which makes it easier for people to discover data.

Microsoft listed Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Condé Nast, Edgenet, KUKA systems GmbH, NASDAQ, telent, Tesla Motors, Virginia Tech and Xerox as companies putting its platform to work.

Data is currency

New research commissioned by Microsoft and conducted by IDC estimated that organisations could realise a ‘data dividend’ of roughly $1.6 trillion in additional revenue, lower costs, and improved productivity over the next four years by putting in place a holistic approach to data that spans datasets, analytics and more.

The research was conducted among more than 2,000 mid-sized and large organisations in 20 countries worldwide.

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“Customers who take a comprehensive approach to their data projects realise a higher data dividend than customers who take a point-by-point approach,” said Dan Vesset, program vice president, business analytics and big data, IDC.

“This new research shows that by combining diverse data sets, new analytics and insights to more people – at the right time – businesses worldwide can tap into a more than trillion-dollar opportunity over the next four years.”

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...