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Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

March 6, 2012 at 9:56 AM

SQL Server 2012 released to manufacturing

Microsoft announced today that SQL Server 2012 has been released to manufacturing.

SQL Server is Microsoft’s data platform used by businesses to manage and analyze data.

SQL Server 2012 will include several new data warehousing solutions, including a major software update and new half-rack form factors for Microsoft Parallel Data Warehouse appliances, according to the news release.

General availability of SQL Server 2012 is scheduled to begin April 1. In the meantime, there’s a virtual launch event that’s scheduled for tomorrow.

Microsoft also said today it will release a new, limited preview of an Apache Hadoop-based service for Windows Azure in the first half of 2012. The service would allow customers to gain actionable insights from complex data hosted in the cloud by optimizing connectivity with SQL Server 2012 and tools such as Excel and PowerPivot, the company said.

Hadoop is an open source, large-scale data processing system that is particularly good at managing large volume, complex, unstructured data such as data that comes in from millions of users’ clicks every time they access a website.

Those interested in signing up for the Developer Preview of Apache Hadoop-based Services for Windows Azure can do so here.

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