It is just about a year ago (exactly January 6th, 2009) that a New York Times article on R did fuel the dispute on what statistical analysis tool is “the best”. One of the highlight of the article was a quote from SAS’ Anne H. Milley:
“I think it addresses a niche market for high-end data analysts that want free, readily available code,” said Anne H. Milley, director of technology product marketing at SAS. She adds, “We have customers who build engines for aircraft. I am happy they are not using freeware when I get on a jet.”
I recently found a SAS press release (dating March 23, 2009) entitled: “SAS to offer R integration to support analytical innovation”, which reads:
“It is no secret that SAS has been working on interfacing with R,” said Anne Milley, SAS’ Senior Director of Technology Product Marketing. “SAS and R are here to stay, and as organizations work to harness the full potential of their data, an expanded set of analytics options can only help.”
First let’s be cheerful about this move (whatever the actual solution will look like anyway), but on the other side, if Anne Milley’s quotes stand for SAS’ reliability, I doubt they deserve their reputation.