Microsoft are shipping some new technology in the upcoming version of SQL Server. This new technology is code-named "Apollo" and introduces two new features.
Vector-based query execution
These 2 features claim to speed up Data Warehouse query processing time by a factor of between 10 and 100. Follow this link for a full description of the these features. You can download the CTP3 of Denali here.
Follow this link to see a demonstration of SQL Server Project "Crescent". To quote "a new immersive ad-hoc visualization tool that is part of SQL Server Code Name "Denali" Reporting Services. Project "Crescent" is designed with end users in mind to quickly, easily, and visually explore their data and answer ad-hoc questions in just a few clicks."
It sounds like exciting stuff and certainly plugs some gaps in the Microsoft stack.