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Microsoft Shutters PerformancePoint Server

Microsoft will discontinue its PerformancePoint business intelligence product and will merge its function into SharePoint Server, the company said late last week.

The move comes in the wake of Microsoft's dismal second quarter earnings report last Thursday, which included a weakened outlook and a plan to slash 5,000 jobs. Microsoft will ship an SP3 update to PerformancePoint Server 2007 around the middle of this year before closing the book on the business intelligence (BI) package.

News of the closure slipped out via a blog entry at Microsoft's BI site.

"Based on customer feedback, we're announcing today that Microsoft is consolidating the scorecard, dashboard and analytical capabilities from PerformancePoint Server into SharePoint Server as PerformancePoint Services, making these capabilities available to millions of SharePoint users around the world," wrote Microsoft Senior Product Manager Nic Smith.

In the post, Smith noted that SP3 will address updates to the PerformancePoint planning module.

"It's hard to deny that PerformancePoint didn't resonate with the market the way Microsoft had forecasted," said Andrew Brust, chief of new technology for consultancy twentysix New York. "But such missteps don't worry me as much as a failure to acknowledge them and make corrections, as Redmond has done here. And this is a great outcome: For the customer SharePoint just got better; for partners the installed base just grew significantly."

Brust said the move may also be a relief to Microsoft's consulting partners, which sometimes struggled to fit PerformancePoint with the rest of Microsoft's sales pitch.

"PerformancePoint was sometimes hard for us to work with because many of our customers were content with what they got in SQL, Excel and Excel Services/SharePoint. Now they won't have to choose," Brust said.

PerformancePoint Server was built based on technology acquired by Microsoft in the April 2006 acquisition of BI analytics provider ProClarity.

About the Author

Michael Desmond is an editor and writer for 1105 Media's Enterprise Computing Group.

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