It has been known for some time that Microsoft is bringing Hadoop support to both Azure and Windows Server. Even more, we’ve known roughly when it would happen. Today has brought us confirmation of those dates.

ZDNet has managed to get its hands on a leaked slide, from December of 2011 admittedly, that contains a more concrete listing of when we can expect Hadoop to crystalize on the two Microsoft products. We’ll show you the slide, and get into why it matters right after:

2012 02 27 12h57 34 520x218 Microsofts Hadoop roadmap laid bare via leaked slide

Of course, things could have chnaged in the last two months, but given that these dates are in line with expectations, we expect them to hold.

What the heck of Hadoop? Hadoop is a software framework that works with large amounts of data, both structured and not, allowing for its indexing and analysis. We’re talking petabytes of data, if that makes sense. The technology can trace its ancestral roots to Google’s MapReduce technology, but in its current form (as Hadoop), Yahoo has been its largest benefactor. Microsoft is contributing to Hadoop as part of its integration.

If you work with huge amounts of data, and need to make sense of it, Hadoop is the hottest thing around, which is why Microsoft is bringing support for it to both its Azure and Windows Server lines; it has to, if it wants to remain competitive. Even more, now that Microsoft is less allergic to open source data, supporting something like Hadoop is an obvious choice.

TNW has reached out to Microsoft over the leaked slide, and will update this post if when we hear back from them. Microsoft declined to comment on this post.