News items like this one from the New York Times are great for detailing how companies large and small are getting into Big Data.  So now Microsoft is getting into the game as well.  Or is it?  Seems to us they always were.  Even if they never called it Big Data.

What is striking is how Microsoft portrays the use of Big Data - as a power behind their current products (e.g. Excel or Outlook email) and not for stand-alone use.  Their chief data scientist is portrayed as working on "incremental" steps for the last 20 years.  Really?  And 100 of their PhD's come together to brainstorm new ways to use Big Data and still it looks like it all hidden inside the current crop of products.  

Plenty of cash, bright minds and no deadlines sounds like a recipe of middle of the road Big Data nothingness to us.  Nothing focuses the mind like a bootstrap, small budget, gotta-get-it-done yesterday Big Data project.  That's where we have found the most success.  You should too.

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