Microsoft has released R Server – for statistical analysis using the R language – based on software from Revolution Analytics, a company acquired by the tech giant in April 2015.
What's used is a distribution of R now called "Microsoft R Open", which is available for Windows, SUSE Linux, and Red Hat Linux.
R itself is a free suite of software for statistical computing and graphics, based on the S language developed at Bell Laboratories.
R Server, which is Microsoft's rebranding of Revolution R Enterprise, is now available for Red Hat Linux, SUSE Linux, Hadoop on Red Hat, and Teradata Database on SUSE Linux.
R Services are also on the way for SQL Server 2016, now in preview, and a forthcoming R Server for Windows will be based on this. In the meantime, Revolution R Enterprise for Windows remains available.
The Microsoft R Server can be installed on-premises or on the Azure cloud platform. It will be integrated into Azure's HDInsight (Hadoop on Azure) and the Azure Machine Learning analytics suite. R Tools for Visual Studio will support developing R solutions.
You will also be able to deploy Microsoft R Server as an Azure virtual machine. A developer version will be included in the Microsoft Data Science Virtual Machine, also running on Azure, a bundle of data analysis tools which was announced in November.
If you were already using Revolution R Enterprise 7.5 you will not find a lot new here, though there are two new "experimental" functions for cleaning and analysing text data, called rxGetFuzzyKeys and rxGetFuzzyDist.
The reason vendors are racing to improve support for data analytics is that the IoT era already generates (and will continue to do so) huge amounts of data which is otherwise useless.
More information on R Server is here.®