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Microsoft acquires Revolution Analytics (revolutionanalytics.com)
210 points by CurtHagenlocher on Jan 23, 2015 | hide | past | web | favorite | 112 comments



dear HN - my team at microsoft did the Python Tools for Visual Studio project (http://pytools.codeplex.com).

i would love to know if there is any interest in us providing an "R Tools for Visual Studio" product. think Project, Edit, intellisense, Debug, Deploy, linux debug, etc. support for R in VS.

if we did this, it would be a fork of PTVS (and free + open source of course).

thx!


If you get it to run on Linux or OS X, there would be no shortage of buyers, including the company I work at. R is our primary toolset. I spend 4-5 hours per day in R studio, & it could certainly use some beefing up - handling large dataframes without borking, simple Charts button rather than the ggplot2 ceremony, tighter integration with hadoop... My workflow currently is - run a bunch of Scalding jobs to mapreduce few hundred GB on hadoop, then pull the results into R, deep dive analysis, some ML ( CART & the like ) to see if we can influence customer behavior & improve retention & conversion. If I could fire up R in Visual Studio & do all this, I'd definitely spring for it.


thx dxbydt. VS itself isnt xplat of course, but who knows where things will end up now that Azure is a big focus. note that VS does provide more & more linux support (eg PTVS does remote debug).

also chances are you wont have to spring for it as VS (community edition) is free :).


honest question and I really don't want to start a language war, I just want to understand more. Why do you use R when you can use Python? I tryed R and I hate it because for me it feels like something all patched together, without a principles behind. Is it like that for you as well but you need all those libraries or it's just me?


For me, productivity. For maintaining large projects or building applications, I'd absolutely go with Scala or Python, but I cannot be as productive in other languages. R has performance issues, but once you know it, you can avoid them (see the recent dplyr benchmarks ~2x faster than pandas).


thanks for the reply. I'm really not bothered with performance, at the end the difference is not that much anyway, what really horrify me is how is it programmed. I remember I wanted to do a statistical test and I could get back the sample size or the p-value calling the same function but with different arguments. I am not a programmer (learned doing my job) but that really disturbed me, even now, writing this. I guess it's just me, as it seems that R is getting more and more attention.


In my opinion the majority of code in R is extremely well suited to its domain. That means it does not look like the python code you are used to, and I'd recommend learning more about why R works the way it does, e.g. at http://adv-r.had.co.nz


What about "R Tools for Excel"? I worked on "R4Calc" 6 years ago (https://wiki.openoffice.org/wiki/R_and_Calc) and this project received over 25K downloads before it became inactive.

Having something as easy to use as Excel, with access to R's scripting language, would make my life immensely easier.



Yes, but native support in Excel for R would be much more interesting to me and certainly the businesses we sell to.


yes - i'd love to see native Python & R support in excel as well. they are aware that better scripting support is needed - they just need to hear it from more ppl to make it a priority. i'll point them at this thread meanwhile.


Vote for python


I read somewhere that VBA is replaced by javascript in office 2016, which comes out this summer.


Oh wow - I would be really interested in more about this!


I would make a separate blog post on it and post that here, or even just an Ask HN type post.

That said it sounds interesting, but I would love to hear how committed the team is to keeping these things alive. What VP is behind PTVS and willing to put their butt on the line for it? I think a lot of people might still have a bad taste in their mouth after IronRuby and IronPython got a lot of attention from MS and then languished and were abandoned for years. Let's not let that happen again please.


thx, tho i've had a hard time getting something to hit the front page to get enough data...

re PTVS/RTVS - the VP behind them is joseph sirosh. he's a huge Python & R fan & just gave us four more reqs to do more (where more == docker+linux+ipython/jupyter - ping if interested!).

re ironruby/ironpython - i hear you. tho note that ironpython at least is alive & well. PTVS itself supports all interpreters. our work is all open source so it helps a little.


Revolution's DevelopR is very similar to what you're describing--an IDE for R built on Visual Studio.

http://www.revolutionanalytics.com/revolution-r-enterprise-d...


actually that was a fork of PTVS :). we'll look at adding more advanced editing, intellisense, visualization, debugging (cross-lang, cross-OS, ...), etc.


That would be pretty cool. Since I have the general feeling that the developer market and the "R programmer" market are pretty different groups, I'm not sure how much uptake there would be (plus, R Studio is pretty good). But I think it would be great to have a better IDE for R.


Yes!

Incidentally, I already have a feature request! :-)

As a heavy C++ user (also using R for EDA & analytics), one feature I love about PTVS is mixed-mode debugging: https://pytools.codeplex.com/wikipage?title=Mixed-mode%20deb...

Any chance of that for "RTVS"? Preferably with cooperation with Rcpp, http://rcpp.org/

(There's some basic support for Rcpp in RStudio -- https://support.rstudio.com/hc/en-us/articles/200486088-Usin... -- but it's rather limited.)


FYI, daily builds of RStudio now use libclang to provide way more C++ language support including autocomplete (but not, I believe, debugging). http://www.rstudio.org/download/daily


Thanks, sounds interesting! BTW, out of curiosity, is there a way to track developments in RStudio like the one you've mentioned?

// Preview Release Notes make a note of "Code completion for C/C++", but don't mention libclang (use of which is interesting on its own, IMHO, since it better indicates the quality improvement to expect): http://www.rstudio.com/products/rstudio/download/preview-rel...


Debugging is partly waiting on lldb work for windows, which looks like has taken off recently.


That would be fantastic, especially if it was easy to call into R from C# via for example RDotNet.


Absolutely. I work with C# all the time and I am now working on integrating R statistics and data mining into a SSAS cube product we are doing. Having more seamless integration between .NET, Visual Studio, and R would be amazing.


great! how about C/C++, eg mixed mode debugging from R <-> C the way PTVS does?


Yes please, I work for a big bank and we use VS for C# and F# and Rstudio and Notepad++ and RGui for R. Having one-ide-to-rule-them-all + supported by Microsoft would be a godsend for us.


Have you looked at the open source F# type provider for accessing R[1]? It's one way to use R from Visual Studio today.

[1] http://bluemountaincapital.github.io/FSharpRProvider/


Yes we've tried it, it's not as stable as plain vanilla R and it's not as powerful in terms of dev tools support (mostly productivity wise, might just be because we are used to them) as RStudio, Eclipse+StatET, Notepad++ w/custom language items.


I can't really comment on R, but thank you for a great toolkit that has really helped me at work. Being able to use VS to plug into a git server and write python code is lovely.

I may use the R equivalent if it existed, but I'm not terribly competent with R.


Please don't forget python for data science. Any chance we can get equivalent python integration and attention to azure and office stuff?


R studio is already a very mature IDE platform for R programming. What's more can you offer than R studio?


They can fold it into VS so that RStudio can be abandoned, and the premier development platform for R can be locked behind the MS paywall.


That's my concern as R studio is open source; VS is not! But anyway, I should applaud for this move of MS. It's a very smart move strategically. R usage is climbing the chart...


R-Studio is a wonderful IDE - kudos to their team. also, if we do this, it'll be free+oss like PTVS. VS itself isnt oss, but at least the pro/community edition is free now.


Oh my yes! That would be amazing.


That would be fantastic! I love PTVS and I am confident you can make RTVS just as great.


I thought Microsoft was kind of dead too: http://www.paulgraham.com/microsoft.html

However, in the past six months they continue to become more surprising, interesting and relevant on many fronts every day. And the pace seems to be accelerating. I might dare say they're the most exciting "big" tech company in 2015...


The only part of Microsoft that was ever dying was their reputation in a very small circle of programmers (ie: us). It's a little frustrating to read such myopic views of MS (especially from PG) on an entrepreneurial website because there's such a huge focus on their appeal to us, and not at all on their actual success as a business, which has been huge. And yes, as much as we don't like him, this includes the Ballmer years. There is absolutely zero indication that Microsoft is actually dying:

https://www.google.com/search?q=msft&oq=msft&aqs=chrome..69i...


Have you been to a Microsoft Store? The employees usually outnumber the customers. Because it's not just developers they've lost, it's consumers. Microsoft are great at enterprise, but their consumer ambitions are going to be hard to realise.


This is exactly what I'm complaining about. Completely anecdotal measures of stuff that truly doesn't matter, while ignoring actual data that shows the company being wildly successful.


Consumers are overrated. Do you really think Sysco is going to go under because the average guy on the street doesn't know or care about them?


Not sure if you actually mean Sysco [1] or Cisco [2]. Your analogy actually works for both, but this being a tech site I assume you mean the latter.

[1] http://www.sysco.com/ [2] http://www.cisco.com/


"which has been huge" is the key. Businesses typically grow, mature then decline. Microsoft's revenues had stopped growing. The very basis (PC) of their core franchines (Windows and Office) is in decline. It looks like a business that is past its prime.

Can Microsoft reverse this? It's hard for them, because they are so successful. Most other successes look small: e.g. their incredible and profitable xbox business isn't in the same league. To rejuvenate themselves would be like Google coming up with a better business than adwords, or xerox a better business than copiers. It's like Apple TV: a wild success for anyone else, but for a long time, a "hobby" for Apple.

BTW: Apple's rejuvenation, and creating several new categories, is incredibly unusual.

Can Microsoft maintain constant revenues? Windows still has a huge amount of software for it, and businesses rely on it. They also rely on Office. Phones and tablets have not really began to displace these business roles. Microsoft has made Office for them anyway; and it also has Windows for tablet (on Intel). These won't displace current phones/tablets - but they will enable businesses to keep using their software and Office.

Of course, there is an opportunity for new ways to serve businesses, using mobile devices, that will make the old Windows software obsolete. This is how Windows could die. Office might be harder to kill.


> Microsoft's revenues had stopped growing.

This is completely false. Microsoft's revenue has grown every year for the last 10 years except for one. I'm not really sure how to respond to the rest of your comment based on that fact.


To clarify, I meant stopped growing at its previous rate. I can't find any data further than 10 years old ATM (which is within its mature growth period), but have a look at its stock price. Note the exponential increase before 2000. https://www.google.com/finance/getchart?q=MSFT&x=NASD&p=40Y&... While there was a stockmarket boom and crash then, you can see that MS had been growing madly for a couple of decades previously.


Why the downvotes? If you look at the stock price over the MAX range, you can see exponential growth until 2000 - then it went sideways. Stock price represents the opinion of investors. It's not just programmers.


> I already know what the reaction to this essay will be. Half the readers will say that Microsoft is still an enormously profitable company, and that I should be more careful about drawing conclusions based on what a few people think in our insular little "Web 2.0" bubble. The other half, the younger half, will complain that this is old news.


Look at the arguments PG makes for MSFT being dead: because he doesn't invite them to demo days (seriously, afaict that's 100% of the evidence he presents). Look at the arguments you make (it will be hard to reverse death, it will be hard to sustain constant revenue). The premise of both is ridiculous, because again, there is nothing to reverse, and their revenues are not constant.

Are any of these arguments actually supported by the data?

Sort of: MSFT had a hard time around the year 2000 due to the bubble, as you pointed out. But their growth since then has been pretty respectable, especially in the last 5-10 years, and if you compare their growth rates with GOOGs they really aren't far off despite MSFT being a much bigger company during that time.

Overall I feel like you are asking the question "How will MSFT ever recover" and I reject the premise of that question. Recover from what? What evidence do you give that MSFT is not doing well right now?

PG wrote that essay 7 years ago. Take a look at MSFTs numbers for the last 7 years. FWIW I suspect I am the younger half as I was only 18 when he wrote that essay and I don't think it's 'old news' or news at all because it's simply not true. And that PG anticipated this counter-argument doesn't make it incorrect.


I feel we're approaching a resolution.

"Dead" is misleading hyperbole - pg emphasises that MS is "highly profitable". His data point is that MS, in his and startups' experience, is no longer a threat. It's just another big company.

I was wrong to say "constant" revenues. But I think my main point, the contrast between a rapid growth period and a steady mature phase, is accurate. The MAX graph shows it, but it's hard to appreciate the exponential growth on the left, because it's so small - expanding the scale would help show it. But MS was seen as astonishingly successful leading up to 1986 - data isn't even displayed for that far back. MS was founded in 1976, DOS released in 1981, which was an instant best seller, on the coattails of IBM's PC, which opened floodgates to the pent-up demand for desktop computers, with the reassurance of "I.B.M.".

So maybe "past its prime" isn't accurate either, but "past its period of incredible meteoric rise". Depends on the definition of "prime".

---

Above is the quantitative data you're asking about. But there is qualitative data, too, which is the basis of predicting what will happen next. By looking at the basis of MS's business success, and knowing how businesses tend to evolve from studying other business, we can try to predict what will happen next. MS's success was based on IBMs -> DOS -> Windows -> Office, leveraging each to the next. With IBMs, DOS and Windows no longer dominant, they are left with Office fileformats and skill at serving business customers. These are strong skills, but the aren't the terrifying killer competitive advantages MS used to have.

So, maybe it's mostly the dramatic constrast with what MS used to be. If you didn't see what MS was before, the contrast wouldn't strike you.

I see that MS are having success with cloud-based enterprise stuff. This makes sense, if it's the same software; they are good at serving enterprise customers, who would prefer not to have to switch. It may also represent going up-market - which is typical for incumbents whose low-end is under threat. It often leads to better and better profits until the low-end is eventually good enough and takes over. (Christiansen's The Innovator's Dilemma). Resources and technical talent and business skill aren't enough to save a company when the grounds of their advantage erodes.

I think the basis of pg's idea is especially for web-based companies. You may have heard of startups getting killed by google moving into their space (or, buying them). It's especially dangerous for people making add-ons for twitter, facebook etc. Now, MS used to do with with Windows: you'd make a product, it was good, MS would roll out that feature in Windows itself... you are dead. But that doesn't happen for the web, because it isn't MS's platform. And so people aren't scared of MS - that's pg's point, I think.


"Thanks to OS X, Apple has come back from the dead in a way that is extremely rare in technology. [2] Their victory is so complete that I'm now surprised when I come across a computer running Windows. Nearly all the people we fund at Y Combinator use Apple laptops. It was the same in the audience at startup school. All the computer people use Macs or Linux now. Windows is for grandmas, like Macs used to be in the 90s. So not only does the desktop no longer matter, no one who cares about computers uses Microsoft's anyway."

Maybe Microsoft is coming back from the dead the same way Apple did?

Also April 2007, 2 months before the first iPhone was released, PG couldn't have predicted the impact of the iPhone in the mobile world. The only mention of it is : "of course Apple has Microsoft on the run in music too, with TV and phones on the way."

But in the desktop world, Windows is still 90% of the operating system share[1] , (or at least 80% according to [2]) It's not surprising that every developer in the SV uses a MacBook: it's the best working tool for them. But if you look out in the rest of the world, people are not buying >$2000 laptops/desktops when they are perfectly fine with a Windows laptop to do their work&play.

[1] http://www.netmarketshare.com/ [2] http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_os.asp


>Maybe Microsoft is coming back from the dead the same way Apple did?

No, because Microsoft was never "dead" the same way Apple was.

Apple was unprofitable and on the brink of bankruptcy.

Microsoft had new competition, but was still making more money than Apple or Google during its "slump".

Apple recovered by appealing to the general public instead of a niche market. Remember what owning a Mac was like in the 90s? Microsoft is "recovering" by appealing to a niche market segment that they've spent most of their corporate history alienating: the open source hacker crowd, ie, people who read this site.

PG only thought MS was dead because, like Sauron in the Third Age, its shadow no longer darkened the world he saw. That doesn't mean that Sauron/MS's power was broken, just that it wasn't affecting the Hobbits/hackers in the Shire/Silicon Valley. Now Sauron is back and he wants to come smoke pipeweed and eat second breakfast, and everyone is very aware of how healthy and dapper he is these days.


When PG wrote that and I read it I was working in a Microsoft partner shop developing full-stack MS solutions for clients. In Wellington NZ at the time almost everyone of any significant size, from private to public sector, used MS exclusively (its a little different now, 'bout 50/50 with a lot of mixed solutions).

I couldn't tell where he was coming from - the only rationalisation seemed that he was talking exclusively about the startup scene in silicon valley. Case in point, we would have been surprised if we came across anyone using a machine running OS X, unless it was a personal toy they brought into work.


Well it's in the best interests of VCs to say that Microsoft is dead. Peter Thiel would also say the same thing. Especially since Microsoft is in a relatively vulnerable position (i.e no clear monopoly/hard to replicate product like Google in Search or Apple in Hardware). They'd rather have investors invest in the shiny new equivalents their start-ups are coming up with.


No clear monopoly? Microsoft? Huh?


Perhaps they assume that the desktop computers are deader than they actually are.


If you look at the data, Google has roughly 70% of the search market, and Microsoft (if you include Yahoo, which uses Bing to provide search results) has about 30%.

http://searchengineland.com/yahoo-sees-big-1-6-percent-month...

iOS isn't even the market share leader among smartphones:

http://www.computerworld.com/article/2866441/iphone-6-boosts...

Meanwhile Microsoft Windows has over 90% of the desktop operating system market share:

http://netmarketshare.com/operating-system-market-share.aspx...

And 95% of the market share in productivity software (so Office):

http://www.forbes.com/sites/greatspeculations/2013/01/09/an-...

Yet Microsoft can't compete with Apple and Google, because they have a clear monopoly when Microsoft doesn't? It's crazy talk.


That essay is great proof that even the smartest minds don't get it right every time and are just as "sucked in the bubble" as the rest of us sometimes.


Yea he was also wrong about web apps taking over the desktop. They're not even close and it's 2015. Mobile really put the breaks on that.


Well. In many ways he's right. How many people still use an desktop email-client? or chat client? I personally use Google docs as my primary office suite. Lot of software in enterprise is also web-based.

Web-based apps are also battling it out on mobile. Lot of apps are just wrappers for accessing web-based content. Performance is the primary obstacle stoping mobile from going completely web-based. Both the new entrants, Tizen and Firefox OS (not to mention Chrome OS) have thrown their weight behind web apps. We consume radio and youtube through web. Its not a stretch to imagine Netflix being accessed primarily through the browser in the future.

The growing SaaS business model is highly favoured to web-based apps. It is taking longer than expected, but the future is generally trending in the direction of web-based apps.


> In many ways he's right. How many people still use an desktop email-client? or chat client?

Are you suggesting that it's rare for people to use Outlook or Skype?


Not rare per se. But getting rarer and rarer.


Most of Microsoft's problems were leadership. Not intentional (Im assuming, but I cant imagine that's a wrong assumption) but they just steered the ship in a bad direction for too long and now are playing catchup/pivot/refocus. A company that large with that much reach will be around for a long long long time.


They got rid of Ballmer.


Got me thinking about what is means for SAS, and found:

R vs SAS, why is SAS preferred by private companies?

http://stats.stackexchange.com/questions/33780/r-vs-sas-why-...


I think this is a big threat to them. I find R more powerful than SAS. With Tibco and microsoft behind the language now, it is going to eat a lot of market.


Code that was written for SAS in the 80s still runs today.


Code that was written for S in the 80s still runs on R today.


If it has any loops, almost as slowly and uselessly as it did then :)


Not really. All packages are bytecode compiled, so unless you doing something stupid, for loops are much faster than they used to be in R.


good to know...was doing something in 2013 that couldn't be vectorized (lots of portfolio simulation calcs where each element in dataframe depended on previous elements, ie portfolio value + market return - spending based on moving average of portfolio value) and it was pretty horrible, trying to use Rcpp and whatnot to speed it up!


Wow, jaw droppingly unexpected news. I mean, I knew they had done a lot of work to make r on windows work as well and parallel as r on Linux, but wow. I wonder if Apple is liking at R studio?

Also, congrats to the Revolution Analytics team!


Yeah, very interested to see where this leaves R Studio. They don't seem like a direct competitor to Revolution Analytics. R Studio focuses on front end usability and ecosystem issues. Their R Studio IDE has great market share, and they seem to be making progress with Shiny.

TIBCO is probably more concerned about this. Their TIBCO Enterprise Runtime for R (TERR) [1] competes directly against Revolution R Enterprise.

The Microsoft acquisition positions Revolution Analytics in a much stronger position against TIBCO. Specifically, it will allow them to integrate with Microsoft's BI stack (Excel, PowerPivot, SharePoint) to compete against TIBCO SpotFire.

[1] http://spotfire.tibco.com/discover-spotfire/what-does-spotfi...


This will make a lot of companies uncomfortable. The undisputed leaders in analytics, SAS and IBM, most of all.


Last time we met with Revolution Analytics they did their demos on a MacBook Pro running MacOSX using RStudio.


Very interesting to see. Quite unexpected, but compelling when combined with Azure Machine Learning.

I wonder if we'll see R support integrated with Office in the future. Native R integration with Access and Excel could be pretty cool.


This is offtopic for the acquisition, but it looks like Microsoft has a tutorial ready to go for building a forecasting service with R and Azure Machine Learning:

http://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/articles/mach...


Would be very interesting to see if they also integrate it in Visual Studio, and have a similar development environment to R Studio


For people working in Microsoft Office only places that will be HUGE. (used M$ but got 3 down votes for using that acronym)


For the down vote. Do you know how hard it was for me to get approval to use R by my company's M$ IT department? It took months to get official approval.


The down votes are, if I had to guess, due to the use of M$ as a "clever" euphemism for Microsoft.


That's why I downvoted...


Sorry that has been the acronym for Microsoft for a good 20 years, especially in Linux/Open Source circles. Sorry I was not trying be clever. I certainly never invented it's use.

M$ = Microsoft isn't seen as the best. Here is conversation on Stack Overflow. http://meta.stackexchange.com/questions/6185/is-m-for-micros... Guess the days of referring a negative point of view towards Microsoft or a Microsoft IT Department isn't accepted anymore by using communicating this by M$.

I blame the stupid text message - script kiddie leet speech that came afterwards destroying this practice.


I know it has been an acronym in those circles. However, it's a rather unintelligent and unprofessional way to articulate dislike. It requires no thought to type out M$ and a lot of thought to articulate a cogent argument against Microsoft. I'd say that it is even harder now then it was 20 years ago... as microsoft is doing a lot of things right.


Unprofessional this is a news site with the name Hacker News without the hacker culture. It is Start Up culture and I need to find a new place for news.


This down voting makes me want to just leave Hacker News every time. Sorry I don't meet you cool intelligence. Guess us 1980's folk just need to go somewhere else.


This is very exciting and congratulations to the Revolution Analytics team! Even a few months or so ago, this would have been more worrisome news but I really (possibly just by a strong desire) do believe that Microsoft is moving in a much better direction in regards to both open source and in fully utilizing some of their more interesting R&D efforts (especially in development).


This is a BIG step forward in further support of a language bashed on by certain people. I switched to R two years ago and it really has been a great fit for me and my work. Excited for Revolution Analytics and what positive things this could mean for R.


I double checked my calendar to make sure that today is not April 1st.

Wow.

I mean

WOW.

Congratulations! A bright movement for both companies.


TIL that MSFT used R to develop algorithms for xbox online matchmaking. Awesome!


May be better match for Redhat since both seems to be similar DNA. But new microsoft may be ok.

Microsoft seems to be enhancing their products/services in enterprise while applying free/low-price on consumer side to compete with Apple/Google, balancing revenue and guidance to wallstreet. Search engine for Google is similar to Enterprise sales for Microsoft while both compete in consumer space.

It may make MS competitive to companies in data processing space like SAS/IBM ...etc.


What is with the "joining" euphemism? ("Revolution Analytics is joining Microsoft," as the blog post puts it.) Is there some sort of growing unclean perception when a company is acquired? More often than not, these acquisitions are intelligently motivated and, aside from producing great economic outcomes for the company being bought, seem to me a real encomium to the founders.


Its not a "growing unclean perception". Euphemisms like X is joining Y, or X is joining the Y family, etc., have been common in corporate mergers and acquisitions for a long time.

The audience for the euphemism is mostly customers and employees, the impression that is sought to be created is that existing customers interests will continue to be served -- but even better by the new, bigger, stronger team -- and that employees are becoming part of something that includes their existing firm (and that they aren't going to be sacrificed.)

Of course, euphemisms alone can only do a limited amount to mitigate customer and employee concerns, but their cheap, and everyone has used pretty much the same ones for decades.


Joining seems to imply they'll be keeping the acquired company's employees.


Wow! Congrats to the Revolution Analytics Team. I'm excited to see what they're able to accomplish with Microsoft's backing.


Recently in this post (*) I was talking about an idea, openlag, I was suggesting a similar model for microsoft and Revolutions Analytics, It seems I nail it.

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/qilang/BPL-iRweRpk

Microsoft loves linux, What about a new name: OpenWinds?


Interesting, I've been thinking about something like "openlag" lately. It seems like an ideal compromise between the need to make money and the desire to open source everything.

When I've been thinking about it, I was considering a much shorter period of time than three years, though, something more like 3-6 month periods, so your competitive edge comes from the newest features, and anything older is Open.

I feel like it would work really well with a premium SaaS model- open source everything that's free to everyone, and have a reserved feature set that's only for paying customers. Paying customers get new features first, and eventually, everyone gets them.

Of course, at some point, you might shoot yourself in the foot by making enough of the app free and open source that no one will want to pay for whatever you've been developing lately. You also, of course, have to always have compelling new stuff coming out to keep subscribers.

I definitely don't think it's viable for every project, or even most projects, but "openlag" definitely seems like it has a place.


I know Ghostscript was released under that model, maybe it still is.


Cannot wait for this to be paired with Azure Machine Learning. The results will be quite interesting, methinks.



This is crazy and awesome. Can't wait to see what happens.


Microsoft's new-found love for open-source products/ services and Github is disturbing. Looks like MSFT is about to acquire Github.


Exciting news. Wonder what Google will do? Contribute to Julia development ;-)


Google prefers users upload data to the cloud for Google's custom software to analyze


>Google's custom software to analyze

So Google can analyse user's software too.


Weird, this almost feels like a Mandela effect for me.


I started googling around to find a definition for "Mandela effect" and came across some people with some rather odd views on quantum mechanics. That was bizarre.


Congrats! Can't wait to see what happens.


Are the RA team ex-Microsoft?


I don't believe so, no. The initial team was comprised mostly of academics, since it was founded as a spinoff from academia. The current CEO & CTO are both ex-Accenture. The scientific team members have a variety of backgrounds, including academia and other statistics and data companies (ex-SPSS, Netezza, etc.).


This should be interesting.


Microsoft definitely has the most vocal fanboys among all the tech companies. I cant see this being a good news from any non-Microsoft perspective.




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