I’m really excited to be able to give you an update on our strategy and product roadmap for Big Data, especially around our embrace of Apache Hadoop as part of our data platform.

As you may remember, at the PASS Summit last October we laid out our roadmap for Big Data, with Microsoft Corporate Vice President Ted Kummert announcing plans to deliver enterprise class Apache Hadoop based distributions on both Windows Server and Windows Azure.

Even more importantly, he announced that Microsoft will be working with the community to offer contributions for inclusion into the Apache Hadoop project and its ecosystem of tools and technologies.

Now, this week at the O’Reilly Strata Conference, Dave Campbell, a Microsoft Technical Fellow, will give a keynote address on Wednesday morning where he will talk about how we are demonstrating our progress on this front as we strive to help organizations derive new insights from Big Data.

In a blog post today, Campbell notes that Microsoft has been working hard to bring the simplicity and manageability of Windows to Hadoop based solutions, and we are expanding the reach with a Hadoop based service on Windows Azure.

“Hadoop is a great tool but, to fully realize the vision of the modern data platform, we also need a marketplace to search, share and use 1st and 3rd party data and services. And, to bring the power to everyone in the business, we need to connect the new big data ecosystem to business intelligence tools like PowerPivot and Power View,” he says.

Microsoft is working closely with the community and ecosystem – including partners such as Karmasphere, Datameer and HStreaming – to deliver an open and flexible platform that is compatible with Hadoop and works well with leading 3rd party tools and technologies.

“We have recently reached a significant milestone in this journey, with our first series of contributions to the Apache Hadoop projects. Working with Hortonworks, we have submitted a proposal to the Apache Software Foundation for enhancements to Hadoop to run on Windows Server and are also in the process of submitting further proposals for a JavaScript framework and a Hive ODBC Driver,” Campbell says.

As Gianugo Rabellino, Microsoft’s Senior Director for Open Source Communities said last October, these moves benefit not only the broader Open Source community by enabling them to take their existing skill sets and assets use them on Windows Azure and Windows Server, but also developers, our customers and partners.

“It is also another example of our ongoing commitment to providing Interoperability, compatibility and flexibility,” he said at that time.

You can read Campbell’s blog here and learn more about what we are doing for Big Data here.