Some signs that Microsoft is trying to catch up and seeing the importance of geospatial support- Paul Flessner, Microsoft senior Vice President of Data and Storage Platforms touched on it in CRN recently - From the CRN article:
Flessner expanded on the company's data-and-storage vision, saying that the data store of the future must handle sound and graphical data types as well as the more standard relational and non-relational text information.
"We've got to go past words and numbers and get to sounds and sights," he told CRN in an interview Thursday.
One problem is that "pattern matching is not there yet," Flessner said.
Microsoft's plan for a unified store to handle all these data types is still on, but timing is unclear. He expects more and more data--including satellite information-- to flow into stores from sensors and that will enable creation of richer applications.
"You will see an investment in spatial indexing, geometry libraries. I want to do a good job supporting ESRI and other geo-spatial guys and make a good library available so if you can't afford those packages do good spatial analysis without them," Flessner said.
(ESRI is a leading maker of geographic information systems and mapping software.)
When will that happen? The next four to six years, although he'd like to get more done "sooner rather than later."
At PDC last year, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates said that the "unified store" vision, already promised and late, would come with the next SQL Server or "Katmai" release wave.
We shall see... They have a lot of catching up to do to get up to effectively compete with Oracle Spatial and PostGIS...
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