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Microsoft acquires statistical software company Revolution Analytics for big data insights

By on January 23, 2015 0


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During the same week Microsoft announced it was buying text analytics software startup Equivio, the computer giant has now revealed it is buying Revolution Analytics, a business services provider for a language of programming used in statistical computing and predictive analytics.

The succinct name “R” is one of the most popular languages ​​used in data science, and Microsoft says it is buying Revolution Analytics to “help more businesses use the power of R and data science. to unlock Big Data insights with advanced analytics, ”according to its press release.

R is an open source software project, which means it can be downloaded and accessed for free by anyone. Revolution Analytics activities are based on R-related services, which may include items such as training and technical support.

If Microsoft purchasing Revolution Analytics just made your heart beat faster, relax. The company said it will continue to “support and evolve” the commercial and open source distributions of Revolution R across all platforms.

Open for business

Although Microsoft is often referred to as a “closed” company, it has been in the open source arena for some time.

In October, Microsoft revealed new partnerships with startup operating system CoreOS and big data company Cloudera. Then in November came the biggie – Microsoft’s plans to open up its .NET software framework and publish it on GitHub, with plans to target Mac OS X and Linux. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has previously said that “Microsoft loves Linux too”.

Last month, Microsoft revealed that it is making its Worldwide Telescope astronomy software freely available.

Looking even further, however, Microsoft launched CodePlex in 2006 – a GitHub-style portal for hosting open source projects. He then deployed IronRuby, an open source implementation of the Ruby programming language, in 2007.

Elsewhere, Microsoft itself has already used the R programming language, for example, in matchmaking for online multiplayer games on Xbox.

So Microsoft is now familiarizing itself with a company specializing in R-related software and services is not as surprising as it first appears.

Start a revolution

Microsoft already allows users to create a virtual machine (VM) running Linux on its cloud-based Azure platform, so it had an open ethic in many ways anyway. And with Revolution Analytics on board, it targets businesses, data scientists, and R developers to more easily build tools and applications with advanced analytics at the core.

David Smith, Community Manager at Revolution Analytics, said he would now be able to invest more in his R Project and Revolution R products, and said he would still sponsor user groups and R events. local.

While Microsoft has given assurances that it intends to “foster the open source evolution of R,” it will be interesting to see how well this deal receives in the R programming community.

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