Microsoft giving away Power BI — for FREE?!?

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As crazy as it may sound, Microsoft has decided to give away Power BI  for free.
Why?  That’s easy: they want Tableau’s market.
Well, maybe that’s not the entire answer.  After all, Microsoft played nicely with Tableau for years, largely viewing them as a partner.  But frankly, they were leaving a fairly large market opportunity untouched.  So Power BI is a whole is definitely a move in that direction.  But, if they’re giving it away, that can’t be the entire answer.
I think this move ties in with other recent Microsoft data bets — e.g. the acquisitions of Equivio and Revolution Analytics, the internal development of Cosmos and SQL-IP, the creation of Polybase for APS, the positioning of HDInsight and Azures cloud-based data services, etc.
Basically, Microsoft is doubling down on their Data Platform.  They are investing heavily in what Satya Nadella sees as a more and more data-driven world.   Given the history of Microsoft with creating ecosystems linking related (and sometimes unrelated) products, it will be interesting to see how these various products come together.
In the meantime, for the low, low price of a simple business email, it’s definitely worth checking out the new Power BI preview…

About the Author

Andy leads Perficient's Microsoft BI team. He has 16 years of IT and software experience with a primary focus on Enterprise Information Management solutions using the Microsoft Data Platform.

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