At the SQL PASS conference last week Microsoft made an announcement on their Mobile BI Roadmap. For a quick synopsis you can read a post by Mary-Jo Foley over at the ZDNet site. I wasn’t at PASS but based on her and some other posts and sources I have spoken with a couple of things jumped out at me on their announcements.
The first announcement is that some time in the first half of 2012 is that Microsoft will enable their existing corporate BI Web-based solutions to run in browsers on Apple’s iOS and Windows devices. I guess the assumptions here is greater support natively for the Safari browser on iOS desktop (not iPad) and support for Windows Phone 7.5. While this is a nice announcement I don’t think it was what most of us were hoping for. The phone offering is great but I have not yet lost a deal due to support for displaying BI data on a phone regardless of the operating system. The iOS announcement is better news but I really wonder what it means in terms of adoption. Most of the companies I have worked with have Apple desktop users in-house. Mostly these are the creative folk and in these clients the IT departments have also deployed things like Citrix or Terminal Services so these Apple uses can access all the non-creative applications they need to use on a daily basis. I think the real take away here, and what I am happy to see, is that Microsoft has now publicly recognized that there is a business opportunity to be had with publishing the end-user BI interaction to devices other than Windows desktops.