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Microsoft's Theat To BI Vendors: The Readers' Take

Business Intelligence Pipeline readers are of several minds on whether Microsoft's forays into analytics threaten the traditional BI vendors.
Business Intelligence Pipeline readers are of several minds on whether Microsoft's forays into analytics threaten the traditional BI vendors.But only a small minority are willing to say Microsoft is no threat at all. In our most recent Pipeline poll question, we asked if the stand-alone BI software firms have anything to fear from Microsoft's increasing push into business intelligence.

A little more than a quarter of respondents, 26 percent, said Microsoft poses no serious threat. More than a third, 34 percent, withheld judgment. In their minds, it's too early to tell. The largest group, 41 percent, categorized Microsoft's threat as "very serious."

If I were voting in this poll--and I never vote in the polls, because I'm writing them--I'd agree with that group that says it's too early to tell. But there's undoubtedly a disparity between the number of our readers who consider Microsoft's entry into BI a critical issue for traditional stand-alone firms, versus those who are willing to just write it off.

I'm going to go out on a limb here--not much of one, really--and point out that it's not just the business users taking these polls. It's also the vendors. And they're not all from Microsoft. See, that's why they call these polls "unscientific." The respondents are self-selecting. If we were to take out the vendor respondents, how would the poll numbers stand then?

I'll leave that up to the IT research firms. And I'll leave BI vendors with this advice: Microsoft, if not a threat now, at least has the attention of a lot of the buying customers out there.