Location: Redmond, Wash.
Top Executive: CEO Steve Ballmer
While it doesn't compete with IBM and Oracle in hardware, Microsoft is all in for big data on software with its SQL Server 2012 database and business analytics software. Its HDInsight Services, built on the Hortonworks Data Platform, is a service for deploying and provisioning Hadoop clusters in the cloud. HDInsight for Windows Server and Windows Azure are in beta.