Microsoft has delivered updates to its tools based on the R language for statistical computing, rebranding the existing Revolution R portfolio as Microsoft R Server and releasing a new R Server Developer Edition as a free download.
The R platform is based on technology gained from Microsoft's acquisition a year ago of Revolution Analytics, a firm that specialised in support and services for the open source R project, a language and environment designed for statistical computing and graphics.
Microsoft became a founding member of the R Consortium last year and delivered SQL Server R Services based on Revolution R Enterprise as a built-in component in one of the technical preview releases for the SQL Server 2016 database platform.
The company has now rebranded Revolution R Enterprise as Microsoft R Server on all available platforms, including R Server for Red Hat Linux, Suse Linux, Hadoop on Red Hat and Teradata DB. These are available as commercial editions with enterprise support and purchasing options.
"Delivering Microsoft R Server across multiple platforms allows our enterprise customers to standardise advanced analytics on one core tool, regardless of whether they are using Hadoop (Hortonworks, Cloudera and MapR), Linux (Red Hat and Suse) or Teradata," said Joseph Sirosh, corporate vice president of Microsoft's Data Group, on the firm's Machine Learning blog.
Microsoft R Server will be included in SQL Server 2016 as SQL Server R Services for Windows users, he explained, for less than the standalone Revolution R Enterprise. However, Revolution R Enterprise for Windows remains available as a standalone product until SQL Server 2016 is released, expected sometime this quarter.
In addition, a new Microsoft R Server Developer Edition is being made available as a free download while still including all the features of the commercial version, according to the firm. This is not a limited version, as free releases often are, but the licensing permits its use only for development and testing.
Meanwhile, the Revolution R Open product has been renamed Microsoft R Open and is available as a free download, while Microsoft R Server is also available at no cost to students for academic use under the Microsoft DreamSpark programme.
Sirosh said that Microsoft will continue to work on delivering better integration in upcoming offerings, specifically in adding the R platform into Azure HDInsight and Azure Machine Learning and making Microsoft R Server available as an Azure Marketplace virtual machine instance.
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