Re: Don't BA already do this?
Dynamic pricing is pretty much a universal practice in the air-travel industry, and has been for a long time.
It's also probably widely practiced, or at least experimented with, in online retail. Amazon's famous 2000 differential-pricing scandal was a particularly public example, but it would be very surprising if data-mining retailers weren't adjusting prices on the fly.
That said, there's nothing special about the "big data" products for enabling this sort of thing. In particular, there's no reason to believe that doing the analysis in real time would convey a competitive advantage. If you can build a model of customer behavior that's sufficiently robust to increase your profits, it's almost certainly nearly as accurate if it's trained on, say, customer behavior up to the last 24 hours, than if it's trained on customer behavior up to the last millisecond. So your data can be processed in batch. Also, much of that data is structured; you might see a marginal improvement by including unstructured data such as customer reviews, but it probably won't be all that large, and that processing doesn't require any special hardware or software.
In short, I think Tucci's missed the boat on this one. Maybe the largest retailers could squeeze enough additional advantage out of EMC's (or anyone else's) proprietary tech to make it worthwhile - but they're also the shops that will just build their own. If you have a smaller operation and you really want to mine user reviews for sentiment, say, someone could throw that together with some commodity hardware and open-source software (eg UIMA, OpenNLP, a little glue code, and something to digest the output).