Microsoft last week announced that volume licensing downloads for SQL Server 2008 R2 are available in all languages, including the public availability of PowerPivot functionality. Customers can now download the trial version of Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 and the web downloads of PowerPivot for Excel and SharePoint.
Until now, if business users wanted to take advantage of the large volumes of data their company collected, they had to ask their IT department to generate a report but with the managed self-service BI capabilities in SQL Server 2008 R2, they will be able to do such analyses themselves, enabling users to get answers to questions more quickly, experiment more, and test what-if scenarios, according to Microsoft.
"This is indeed a moment of fundamental change. It is a remarkable time for businesses. There are a lot of reasons for that," stated Steven Elop, president of the Microsoft Business Division, during his keynote at the Microsoft Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 global launch event on Wednesday.
Organizations are adjusting to the new economic realities of tighter budgets and stricter requirements for demonstrable return on investment, and they are responding to the changing face of the workforce reflecting the arrival of the Millennial Generation, and the need for IT to supply applications that facilitate effective collaboration with individuals, teams, and organizations, regardless of their location. "These phenomena have significant implications for all of us," Elop said. Increasingly, employees expect the same type of technology at home that they have in the workplace and want the technologies to be safe and secure and want them to work seamlessly together. Additionally, employees also want more options for mobile work, said Elop, citing research that the world's mobile work population will pass the 1 billion mark this year and grow to nearly 1.2 billion people by 2013. Moreover, employees are seeking ways to better deal with the sea of information that is flooding them, said Elop, citing research showing that roughly 40% of the average U.S. workers' day is spent culling through and amassing data rather than adding value to it.
With those requirements providing context, Elop announced Office 2010, SharePoint 2010, Visio and Project 2010 are now available for purchase by business customers all over the world.
Commenting on the adoption rate, Elop noted, "Already 8.6 million people are using the 2010 set of products through participation in our beta program. That is more than three times as many people that were engaged in the Office 2007 beta program." And, he said, "Today, more than 90 million business customers will gain access to a next generation of productivity applications. We are very excited about the momentum we see. These businesses that are deploying the 2010 set of products can expect to see significant gains in productivity, reduced cost and a great return on their software investments."
To hear more about Office, SharePoint and Microsoft's BI solutions, watch a replay of the keynote by Steven Elop, president of the Microsoft Business Division, here.
In addition to the Office launch, the SQL Server 2008 R2 worldwide launch tour is underway and boasts approximately 100 cities from Johannesburg, South Africa to Seoul, Korea, with more than 20,000 customers expected to attend one of the worldwide events. To find an upcoming event or to explore what's new in SQL Server 2008 R2, visit the SQL Server 2008 R2 Virtual Guided Tour. The Tour is now available in 11 different languages including French, German, Russian, LATAM Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Italian, Japanese, and Korean.