The New York Times released an interesting article yesterday, 29 OCT 2012 on Big Data
Eric Horivitz entered the Microsoft research team as an MD with a Ph.D. in Computer science. His goal was to build a predictive software that could get continually smarter, and 20 years later, he is just months from achieving that goal, as Microsoft are beginning to incorporate his technologies into Microsoft products.
I have personally have used Microsoft office for years, and as I got into my upper level informatics classes, have found it bothersome not to be able to use the familiar Microsoft Office programs to analyze my data. I was forced to learn external programs such as SPSS and AWS. This is a good thing because I am learning how to utilize other products for statistical analysis, however, you would think that Microsoft (maintaining a majority of the market share) would be able to keep up as technology evolved.
According to the New York Times, next year’s Microsoft Office suite will include the following modifications:
Excel: Will now be able to comb very large amounts of data, apparently, it will be able to scan 12 million twitter most and create charts to show information like which Oscar nominee was getting the most buzz.
Outlook: Horvitz is testing a learning (Machine-Learning) software to implement, which would be able to learn the users habits to create a smoother human computer interaction.
When interviewed, David Smith, a senior analyst with a technology research firm stated, “Everything in the world in generating data, Microsoft has so many points of presence, with windows, Internet Explorer, Skype, Bing, among other applications, that they could do it a lot. Analyzing vast amounts of data could be big business for them”
I think that it is interesting that, according to this article, Microsoft is so behind in Big Data development. Companies such as I.B.M., Hewlett-Packard, Oracle, and SAP have been in the development process for a while. I am not sure if they just relaxed because they own so much of the market share, but these other companies are passing them quickly. I can only imagine that Microsoft is feeling the pressure to keep up.
This article states the following about advancements made by other firms:
I.B.M: hired over 400 mathematicians and statisticians to augment its software development.
Hewlett-Packard: Within the year will launch printers that connect to the Internet and store documents, which can later be searched for new information.
Oracle and SAP: already have their own machine-learning efforts.
It is a shame that Microsoft is so comfortable with its consumer base that they take to long to develop up to date software, however, they has something that most other firms do not, and that is billions of dollars to work with. With such an established reputation, once the new Microsoft Suite is launched, it will take off immediately, and with that framework, they will be able to continually update it with little lagging time to create more advanced software