Microsoft, Linux and a host of others come together with the 'R' Consortium

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With each passing day, Microsoft and the Linux community are finding ever increasing ways to put aside past differences and embrace the future together. While the storied history of the two communities will never be forgotten, perhaps Microsoft’s future will foster a more pleasant relationship between the two.

Earlier this week, Microsoft and the Linux Foundation came together for another project that has the two communities working even closer together. Earlier this week, the Linux Foundation announced the formation of the R Consortium. R has quickly become the language for statistical data analysis. The rapid evolution of R’s analysis language has put it at the forefront of innovation in the field of data sciences in recent years. Thanks in part to Principal Program Manager of Machine Learning at Microsoft, David Smith helped in the creation of the R Consortium. This development stems from Microsoft's acquisition of Revolution Analytics, a premier R distribution provider. Microsoft is among the founding companies that are looking to help strengthen the technical and users communities of this Linux hosted Collaborative Project.

For R users, the new R Consortium will work alongside the R Foundation, which maintains the R language. The R Consortium will look to expand outreach and assistance of developers who are currently interested or using the R language. The Consortium will assist in a host of duties that include, “technical and infrastructure projects such as building and maintaining mirrors for downloading R, testing, QA resources, financial support for the annual useR! Conference, and promotion and support of worldwide user groups,” according to Microsoft’s Machine Learning Team. Most importantly, the Consortium wants to grow the community who are using the R language.

Being a part of the R Consortium also benefits Microsoft in its SQL Server ambitions as well puts the language in the hands of customers who use Microsoft data platforms. Microsoft would like to build the R language into more products and services. With the addition of R, Microsoft believes it can help data scientist and business leaders drive innovation and advances in the field of data science.

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