Microsoft is to extend its big data credentials with the acquisition of Revolution Analytics. The firm specialises in software and support services for the R programming language, which is widely used for statistical and data mining applications.
Microsoft said it has reached an agreement to acquire Revolution Analytics to help more companies use the power of R and data science to unlock big data insights with advanced analytics.
Financial details of the purchase have not been disclosed, and Microsoft has not said when it expects the deal to close.
Revolution provides an enterprise-class platform for the development and deployment of R-based applications that can scale across large data warehouses and Hadoop systems, and can integrate with enterprise systems, according to Microsoft.
"This acquisition will help customers use advanced analytics within Microsoft data platforms on-premises, in hybrid cloud environments and on Microsoft Azure," said Joseph Sirosh, Microsoft's corporate vice president for machine learning.
"By leveraging Revolution Analytics' technology and services, we will empower enterprises, R developers and data scientists to more easily and cost effectively build applications and analytics solutions at scale."
Revolution chief community officer David Smith welcomed the move, saying in a blog post that the acquisition will bring the work Revolution has done to support R to a wider audience, but that existing users will continue to be supported.
"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," he said.
Microsoft is apparently already a big user of R, having used it to develop the match-making capabilities of the Xbox online gaming service, according to Smith.
"Microsoft supports R extensively within the Azure ML framework, including the ability to experiment and operationalise workflows consisting of R scripts in MLStudio," he added.
The deal comes on the back of a busy week for Microsoft after it unveiled a raft of new features it working on for Windows 10 as well as unexpected new ideas such as its HoloLens virtual reality glasses.
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