After spending the last few months in Public Preview mode, Microsoft has officially released the public version of its Hadoop implementation, Windows Azure HDInsight. Developed as part of a partnership with Hortonworks, HDInsight provides Microsoft's entry into the Big Data industry.

The official announcement was posted as a blog article on the Microsoft blog by Quentin Clark, Corporate Vice President of the Data Platform Group. HDInsight allows Windows Azure interoperability with Hadoop's open source technology and brings integration with the Business Intelligence (BI) components of Office 365. The real value of this integration is that it serves the power of business analytics into an interface that customers are immediately familiar with using.

You can read the full announcement here: Announcing Windows Azure HDInsight: Where big data meets the cloud

Promotional pricing for Windows Azure HDInsight is available at $0.32 per hour for a Head Node and $0.16 per hour for a Compute Node. That's exactly half the normal pricing which starts on December 1st 2013, when the promotion ends.

Read more about HDInsight on Microsoft's Windows Azure site: Windows Azure HDInsight

On Thursday this past week, I gave a webinar that covered HDInsight, Hadoop, and Big Data. You can read about that here:  October 30: Smart Data Management with Private Cloud