Released publicly on April 1, 2014, Microsoft waited until April 15, 2014 to make the launch of SQL Server 2014 official during a live event. Microsoft's new CEO, Satya Nadella, had much to say to set the stage for the launch, stating that his company needs to create a "data culture" that can only thrive through a rich set of products and technologies. "Office is the canvas," Satya said, suggesting that Microsoft's popular productivity suite is the app that will drive Big Data.

SQL Server 2014 launched, as promised, with Satya stating that the Microsoft's database platform is now a $5B+/year business.

It was SQL Server 2014's party, of course, but Microsoft used the event to tack on a couple other product announcements:

  • Microsoft's new Azure Intelligent Systems Service. Azure Intelligent System Service is Microsoft's answer to the Internet of Things (IoT). It captures and manages machine data from embedded devices and sensors, regardless of the platform in use (read: heterogeneous).
  • Microsoft also unveiled its Analytics Platform System. Microsoft is developing an actual hardware appliance that serves data from SQL Server's data warehousing solution and Hadoop to be integrated and jointly queried. Satya Nadella called the solution "big data in a box." The data appliance will be sold by OEMs.

Related: Satya Nadella on Bringing a Data Culture to Every Organization, Individual