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Microsoft announced that has reached an agreement to acquire Revolution Analytics.
Now, Microsoft might seem like a strange bedfellow for an open-source company, but the company continues to make great strides in the open-source arena recently. Microsoft has embraced Linux as a fully-supported operating system on its Azure cloud service. (CEO Satya Nadella proclaimed “Microsoft loves Linux” in foot-high letters at a press event back in October.) Microsoft supports Hadoop with Azure HDInsight and has partnered with Hortonworks to extend open-source Hadoop for the enterprise. (In 2013, Microsoft open-sourced REEF to provide a big-data analytics framework for YARN.) The .NET Core is now open-source, providing an alternative developer framework to Java.
Microsoft has been an active participant in many other open source projects, too. There are over 1,600 OSS projects from Microsoft on CodePlex and GitHub. Microsoft engineers have actively contributed to the Linux kernel for years, and the company has contributed to open source community projects including Chef, Puppet, Docker, MongoDB, Redis and OpenJDK. Microsoft blogs regularly provide information and resources for open-source tools, including Chef, Puppet and Docker.
And Microsoft is a big user of R. Microsoft used R to develop the match-making capabilities of the Xbox online gaming service. It’s the tool of choice for data scientists at Microsoft, who apply machine learning to data from Bing, Azure, Office, and the Sales, Marketing and Finance departments. Microsoft supports R extensively within the Azure ML framework, including the ability to experiment and operationalize workflows consisting of R scripts in MLStudio.
We’re excited the work we’ve done with Revolution R will come to a wider audience through Microsoft. Our combined teams will be able to help more users use advanced analytics within Microsoft data platform solutions, both on-premises and in the cloud with Microsoft Azure. And just as importantly, the big-company resources of Microsoft will allow us to invest even more in the R Project and the Revolution R products. We will continue to sponsor local R user groups and R events, and expand our support for community initiatives. We’ll also have more resources behind our open-source R projects including RHadoop, DeployR and the Reproducible R Toolkit. And of course, we’ll be able to add further enhancements to Revolution R and bring R capabilities to the Microsoft suite of products.
For our users and customers, nothing much will change with the acquisition. We’ll continue to support and develop the Revolution R family of products — including non-Windows platforms like Mac and Linux. The free Revolution R Open project will continue to enhance open source R. We’ll continue to offer expert technical support for R with Revolution R Plus subscriptions from the same team of R experts. We’ll continue to advance the big data and enterprise integration capabilities of Revolution R Enterprise. And we’ll continue to offer expert technical training and consulting services.
This is an exciting new chapter for the Revolution Analytics team. I’m proud to be a part of it, and everyone here is excited about the possibilities and the future. Stay tuned for more great things to come when the transaction is closed. If you have questions or comments, feel free to add your thoughts below.
Originally posted on Revolution Analytics blog by David Smith, Chief Community Officer