When you think about Microsoft, you probably think the very opposite of Open Source Software (OSS). Some would even go as far as picturing it as Dr. Evil of OSS. But recent moves show Microsoft begs the differ. This week Microsoft announced acquisition of Revolution Analytics, the company behind the open source R programming language that has become popular for statistical analysis on big data. As
We are making this acquisition to help more companies use the power of R and data science to unlock big data insights with advanced analytics
Microsoft’s acquisition comes after showing interest in the language, both using it internally by Microsoft’s data scientists and frameworks, and actively contributing to open source R projects such as ParallelR, and RHadoop.
This joins other contributions by Microsoft to open source, such as Linux kernel contributions (yes, Microsoft, the father of Windows, contributing to Linux). Microsoft also released some of its core assets as open source, such as the .NET Core programming language and the REEF big-data analytics framework for YARN, and other open-source projects.
Microsoft’s recent moves also shows its recognition that Big Data Analytics is where the world is heading. Organizations accumulated data, and are now looking for ways to monetize on that data and leverage the most advanced technologies and languages for that. Microsoft got a painful reality check a couple of months ago, when Facebook decided to dump Microsoft’s Bing and develop its own revamped big data search framework. Facebook, Twitter, Google and the likes have long realized the potential of their big data and have been developing advanced big data analytics technology to address that.
Microsoft opened 2015 with an impressive acquisition, marking important realization around open source software and big data analytics. Such statement hints for more to come down the year.
Update: Microsoft released its big data Azure Stream Analytics cloud service. check out the details in this post.
Follow Dotan on Twitter!