According to the author, Microsoft has two main goals with PowerPivot: to "introduce a new in-memory engine for data processing" and to "promote the self-service BI concept extending the usage of BI systems to a wider audience."
There are, of course, other reasons which the author did not mention, such as Microsoft trying to get a fighting chance against QlikView, which has been constantly beating Microsoft at mid-sized and departmental deals.
In addition, Microsoft is trying to motivate their customers to upgrade to Excel 2010, in which PowerPivot is provided for free in the form of an add-in. Microsoft is not a natural BI company and their cash cows are still Windows and Office, so it only makes sense. Will it work? Who knows. Will it change the BI space? Probably not.
To me, the most interesting thing about this post is the fact that PowerPivot is meant to promote the self-service BI concept, which in most people's minds is the complete and utter opposite of what Analysis Services delivers, namely a heavy, IT-centric business intelligence solution.
If this is true, Microsoft is basically admitting on their own blog that Analysis Services has failed to provide a viable solution for mid-sized companies and departments (where self-service BI is widely used) and that their new BI marketing strategy is based on Office, not SQL Server.
This fact is well known to people who are familiar with the trends and nuances of the BI space, but Microsoft saying this on their blog is, to me, a very big deal.
By: Elad Israeli | The ElastiCube Chronicles - Business Intelligence Blog