R Open Source and Commercial Support

January 23, 2015

(This article was first published on R-Chart, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

With today’s announcement that Microsoft will acquire Revolution Analytics, it is worthwhile to consider the commercial support that has existed in different forms throughout the history of this open source language. 

  • R itself appeared in 1993 as a GNU open source project.
  • RStudio was founded in 2008 and provides the amazing RStudio IDE.  They also successfully launched a number of commercial ventures since 2013.
  • Since 2012, IBM has a library to support R scripts being run in IBM InfoSphere BigInsights.

Besides these implementations, many major companies actively support development in the R community.

  • Google has a well known R style guide reflecting internal use of the language.  They released CausalImpact: a package for estimating causal effects in time series in 2014.

The availability of R as an Open Source product is great.  It allows R to be easily introduced into new settings and quickly adopted by new users .   Microsoft’s acquisition of Revolution Analytics demonstrates that R continues to be highly valued within commercial enterprises.  And the ongoing support by developers and engineers within commercial settings continues to contribute to the value and applicability of the language.

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