I believe that Microsoft has delivered a very solid release with SQL Server 2012. I love MDS V2, I am giddy with excitement about columnstore indexes (still trying to hunt down any hints that would substantiate the claimed availability of this technology for Analysis Services), I think that PowerView will be a huge success, although I cannot help but feel sad about a huge unrealized opportunity to reverse the market’s perception that Microsoft is lacking Mobile BI. The product should have never been built in Silverlight. Hopefully it will get upgraded to HTML 5 very soon..
Still, however, even with PowerView, the Achilles’ heel of the product is it’s inability to wow and delight the end users with rich visualizations. I have seen a lot of useless but really flashy (pun intended) versions of Xcelsius (I will go on the record and admit that that’s a tool that I really do not like), but I have never seen a breathtaking version of a PerformancePoint or Excel Services dashboard…Short of writing .Net code, it is virtually impossible take one’s breath away with it.
I have recently heard a rumor that Microsoft is adding a lot of interactivity to the standard set of charts and graphs available in the Office product today. May be this is the missing link that will bring all of the disjointed pieces of the Microsoft Business Intelligence puzzle together.. Cannot wait till summer when first beta of the product is expected to become available.