Microsoft drn20339Microsoft is spending an undisclosed sum to acquire statistical computing and predictive analytics firm Revolution Analytics.

Revolution provides consulting, training and software for R, described as ‘the world’s most widely used statistics programming language’, and both parties say the buy will help more companies make use of it to unlock big data insights, as well as bolstering the open source community constantly developing R. 

David Smith, Chief Community Officer at Revolution, points out on the company’s blog that Microsoft is ‘a big user of R’ for, among others things, its Xbox online gaming service and the analysis of data from search engine Bing; and that the software giant, originally the villain of the Open Source piece, has recently shifted to become a big supporter. He comments: ‘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.’

Smith also says that for users and customers, ‘nothing much will change with the acquisition’, with teams and support services staying in place, while his firm’s developers will continue to work on Revolution R solutions, including non-Windows platforms such as Mac and Linux.