Microsoft Corp. today announced that the latest version of the world's most widely deployed data platform, Microsoft SQL Server 2012, has released to manufacturing. SQL Server 2012 helps address the challenges of increasing data volumes by rapidly turning data into actionable business insights. Microsoft has previously made a commitment to help customers manage any data, regardless of size, both on-premises and in the cloud. This latest version moves further towards those goals and allows Microsoft to compete in the growing cloud hosting space, where many competitors are offering managed cloud, hybrid cloud and community cloud services that provide higher levels of feedback and management for their customers. Along these lines, Microsoft also disclosed further details today regarding its plans to release an Apache Hadoop-based service for Windows Azure.