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Microsoft has made two significant announcements related to its office productivity products. First, it is adding Power BI to Office 365, and second, it is expand the Sharepoint and Office stores to 22 new markets.
Computerworld's Joab Jackson reported, "Microsoft is adding a set of BI (business intelligence) tools to its hosted Office 365 service, including some capabilities not yet offered in stand-alone Microsoft software products. Power BI for Office 365 'brings together our entire BI stack and offers it as a service,' said Eron Kelly, general manager for SQL Server product marketing."
eWeek also quoted Kelly, who said, "Power BI for Office 365 brings self-service BI solutions to everyday business users through the familiar tool they already use—Excel. By betting on Excel, we can bring the power of big data insights to the people who are closest to the business—not a specialist with an expensive, specialized tool—but everyone in the organization can find deeper insights that will help them make better decisions. By delivering this service from Office 365, we can reach thousands of organizations who already trust Microsoft as a cloud service provider—one in four of our enterprise customers now has Office 365—with a cloud service that deploys in minute."
ZDNet's Andrew Brust noted, "A preview of Power BI will come to market later this summer, with general availability to follow at an unspecified date. Customers can sign up to be notified of the preview's availability at http://www.office.com/powerbi."
In related news, The Next Web's Alex Wilhelm wrote, "Microsoft today announced at its Worldwide Partner Conference that it will bring the Office Store and SharePoint to 22 new markets... By extending the Office and SharePoint stores to new markets, Microsoft is broadening the potential userbase for developers building on those platforms."