Microsoft Announces: Power BI – The Next Big Thing

I was watching the World Wide Partner Keynote in Houston yesterday and the biggest thing I came away with is… Wow! What is this Power BI tool.  It looks like SharePoint!  Immediately I dug into it and today Microsoft went public with a new technology that currently is planned for Cloud only.  Just for Office365.  You could say it’s SQL’s contribution to Office 365 by integrating some really powerful tools into one simple interface and guess what? It’s designed for mobile interfaces starting with Windows 8 tablets, but plans include support for iPad and SharePoint’s capabilities to span to non Windows and non iOS devices.  It is SharePoint under the hood, but as well includes a bunch of other technologies to deliver that powerful but simple UI and since it’s in the cloud, you don’t have to worry about it.

Server and Tools Business President Satya Nadella announced Power BI for Office 365, which fills the mobile and cloud BI gaps, using the technology in PowerPivot, Power View, Power Query, and Power Maps including natural language and what I like to call predictive search. 

I highly recommend watching Satya’s awesome demo on Music using Power BI.  Super cool. Here’s a link to the WPC Keynote… it’s in hour 3 (start somewhere around 3:15)

In SharePoint terms, this is a big deal… This is BI for tablets… on your terms.  The powerful search capabilities is a must see.  If you read nothing else you should watch this POWER BI video.

Above: Power BI in Windows Surface


Office 365 Power BI is powered by SharePoint which will render the Power BI visualizations in HTML 5, avoiding the Silverlight requirement. I love hearing that.

This definitely puts MS in a better position against the likes of Tableau and QlikView.

Microsoft has clarified that the "public preview of Power BI for Office 365 will be available this summer. You can sign up now at to be notified when the preview is available."

 To learn more about Power BI:

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Joel Oleson

Traveling is my passion. My quest to visit every country in the world while fully employed, raising a family and keeping my marriage healthy. I'm not just country hopping, but looking for the most immersive cultural experiences and capturing them as photos and videos. When not traveling, I'm living in paradise in sunny southern California working at Blizzard Entertainment, the world's most successful video game company in the world.

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