Microsoft delivers free version of its R analytics Server for developers

Microsoft is rolling out a free version of its R big-data analytics server for developers alongside the rest of the newly rebranded Revolution Analytics servers.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

Last week, Microsoft quietly made available to its MSDN and DreamSpark subscribers its R Server family of products.


On January 12, Microsoft announced officially the availability and rebranding of the Revolution R Enterprise line as "Microsoft R Server" Company officials also said for the record that Revolution R Open is now called "Microsoft R Open" and available as a free download.

R is a programming language that can be used in big-data statistics, predictive modeling and machine learning . Microsoft last April completed its acquisition of Revolution Analytics, the maker of a distribution of the R programming language for statistical computing and predictive analytics, for an undisclosed amount.Microsoft execs also announced today there is a new Microsoft R Server Developer Edition product available today as a free download. This version, which includes "all the features of the commercial version" of R Server is available to developers, data scientists and database administrators. Update: The free developer version looks to be available by signing up with a Microsoft Account to the Visual Studio Dev Essentials program.

The developer version of R is for testing, development and creation of R scripts and models. There are no limitations on the Server software regarding size of the org or types of apps, but it can only be used in a testing and development environment, a Microsoft spokesperson said. The previously announced Microsoft Data Science Virtual Machine will come with a preinstalled and preconfigured version of the Microsoft R Server Developer Edition product.

The Microsoft R Server line-up includes:

As Microsoft previously announced, the company is integrating the commercial R distribution into SQL Server 2016 in the form of SQL Server R Services. Until SQL Server 2016 is released, Revolution R Enterprise for Windows will remain available as a standalone product, officials said today.

Microsoft is continuing its work to integrate R into Azure HDInsight (Hadoop on Azure) and Azure Machine Learning. It also plans to deliver R Server as virtual machine available via the Azure Marketplace. And according to today's blog post, Microsoft also is working on R Tools for Visual Studio (RTVS), an offering similar to its Python Tools for Visual Studio (PTVS).

Update: What's the deal on pricing for R Server (for the versions that aren't free)? A spokesperson sent the following statement:

"Pricing will vary depending on volumes and types of agreements customers use. Pricing for the Linux versions of Microsoft R Server are in line with the SQL Server 2014 Enterprise cores. For more information contact your local Microsoft Account Team or Microsoft Reseller for more information."
Editorial standards