Last January, Microsoft announced its plans to acquire Revolution Analytics, which was the leading commercial provider of an R programming language distribution. The acquisition was later competed in April 2015 alongside an announcement that Microsoft planned to integrate R into SQL Server.
Almost a year later, Microsoft has delivered its new R products including a free version known as Microsoft R Open as well as an enterprise-grade product known as Microsoft R Server. The products were previously named Revolution R Open and Revolution R Enterprise respectively and will stand alongside SQL Server R Services which was delivered as a built-in component of SQL Server 2016 CTP3 back in October 2015.
As a founding member of the R Consortium, Microsoft has gone to great lengths to demonstrate its stewardship of its new acquisition. In a Technet blog post, Microsoft Data Group Corporate Vice President Joseph Sirash said:
The R community is the keystone for the success of the R language, and a critical resource for data scientists, statisticians and now enterprises. Since the Revolution acquisition, Microsoft has continued to support the community, including expanding the sponsorship of R user groups and conferences.
Today, Microsoft has gone a step further by making Microsoft R Server available for free via its Dreamspark program. This will be a boon for students interested in big data analytics either for further academic study or as a future career. Otherwise, developers can download Microsoft R Server for free from Visual Studio Dev Essentials.
With integration with SQL Server, Power BI, Azure and Cortana Analytics, Microsoft R should easily build upon the popularity fostered by Revolution Analytics.
Source: Technet Blog