Microsoft has bought a small open source company called Revolution Analytics. Revolution Analytics is a provider of an open source distribution of R, one of the most widely used data analysis software packages. They also provide consulting services.
Revolution Analytics also has a product called Revolution R Cloud which is a distribution of R designed specifically for the cloud. It is currently targeted at Amazon Web Services – presumably now it will be retargeted to Microsoft Azure.
This acquisition will help customers use advanced analytics within Microsoft data platforms on-premises, in hybrid cloud environments and on Microsoft Azure. 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.
R is an important language and toolset for data scientists working on advanced statistics algorithms. Microsoft is investing in supporting R in its cloud offerings including support for integration of R code and R packages in its Azure ML offering.