Microsoft’s Pivot – solving the needle in a haystack


Pivot was first shown at the PDC last year and it’s now available as a shipping product with the Silverlight PivotViewer. This brings Pivot to your web browser and I think it’s a fine example of how we do what we call “tech transfer” – taking incubations from our Labs (in this case Live Labs) in to shipping products.

What the hell is Pivot? It turns out the name itself is a pretty good descriptor as it allows you to “pivot” on information you’re dealing with. As always, it’s easier to see for yourself than have me explain in some arcane techno mumbo jumbo so take a look at the Wedding venues visual search. I could have done with this site a few months back when I got married – it allows you to visually sort a large amount of data using the typical pivots you would naturally use. Imagine trying to do a search for all of the venues in Cornwall, England that can accommodate 100 people and have overnight accommodation. Oh and have a swimming pool. It turns out there is one….classic needle in a haystack stuff but Pivot makes it simple to solve that little conundrum.

I love to see this stuff shipping…not least because it means Gary Flake and his band of merry men and women are now off creating what’s next.


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