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Recently a number of the Microsoft Data Mining folks decided to start up their own company Predixion Software. This includes two of the 3 authors of my favourite Data Mining book, Bogdan Crivat & Jamie MacLennan. Jamie was the lead developer in the SQL 2005 DM team & creator of the 1st version of the Data Mining Add-ins for Data Mining.
Their goal is to release data mining components, add-ins & solutions at a much faster rate than is practical when tied to the 2-3 year release cycle of larger platform like SQL Server &/or MS Office.
So if :- (i) you have ideas on tools you’d prefer to buy rather than build &/or (ii) You’ve used the Excel add-in for Data Mining &/or (iii) even if you’ve just thought about using the SQL Data Mining platform.
Note: The SQL Server Data Mining Platform is one of the nicest I’ve worked with, easy to extend & easy to integrate into your solutions. It is now very mature, it is a core part of the SQL Analysis Server. The exit of these guys does not change the level of investment Microsoft is making in this critical area of the product. I expect they will still collaborate closely with the MS team. Only now they will do so as a partner.