In a move that will surprise few, Microsoft is set to bring its suite of business intelligence (BI) tools to the iOS and Android platforms, via tailored web applications, in 2012. Microsoft has also made it plain that it intends to, in ‘Post-Calendar’ 2012, add support for Windows 8 slates, perhaps giving additional weight to the idea that Windows 8 could be released as soon as holiday 2012.

According to data and information collected by ZDNet, this is what 2012 looks like from a Microsoft BI perspective:

  • First 6 months of 2012: “[E]xisting corporate BI Web-based solutions” will be built to run on both iOS and Windows devices via the Internet. In other words, if you are on a iPad, iPhone, or any sort of Windows-based device, this is for you.
  • Second 6 months of 2012: Android support is added, and touch-input for “data exploration and visualization capabilities” is supported [ZDNet language]. This is the update that is fun, as it allows slates to truly come to the fore, by letting their interface-elements step into their own.

So then, whither the Windows 8 update? As noted, it will drop after 2012, but probably not after the end of fiscal 2012, if you get me. What does that mean? Not much, and here is why: Given that Office 15 (not Office 2015, but Office 15, the next version coming that will replace Office 2010) is not due until after the end of calendar 2012, and that Microsoft’s BI offerings are tied to Office, we expect the Windows 8 material to land after the operating system launches.

In other words, the fact that Windows 8 support is set to land after 2012 does not meant that Windows 8 itself is now behind schedule. Put that pitchfork down.