Today at the O'Reilly Strata Conference + Hadoop World, Microsoft Corp. announced new previews of Windows Azure HDInsight Service and Microsoft HDInsight Server for Windows, the company's Apache Hadoop-based solutions for Windows Azure and Windows Server. The new previews, available today at www.microsoft.com/bigdata, deliver Apache Hadoop compatibility for the enterprise and simplify deployment of Hadoop-based solutions. In addition, delivering these capabilities on the Windows Server and Azure platforms enables customers to use the familiar tools of Excel, PowerPivot for Excel and Power View to easily extract actionable insights from the data. "Big data should provide answers for business, not complexity for IT," said David Campbell, technical fellow, Microsoft. "Providing Hadoop compatibility on Windows Server and Azure dramatically lowers the barriers to setup and deployment and enables customers to pull insights from any data, any size, on-premises or in the cloud." The company also announced today an expanded partnership with Hortonworks, a commercial vendor of Hadoop, to give customers access to an enterprise-ready distribution of Hadoop with the newly released solutions. "Hortonworks is the only provider of Apache Hadoop that ensures a 100 percent open source platform," said Rob Bearden, CEO of Hortonworks. "Our expanded partnership with Microsoft empowers customers to build and deploy on platforms that are fully compatible with Apache Hadoop." More information about today's news and working with big data can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/bigdata.