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Thanks David for sharing the deck - I presented on Microsoft and Revolution Analytics this past Monday in Atlanta, GA to our regular Microsoft BI Users PASS chapter. We had planned this talk starting two months ago. I took a lot of slides from past Revolution Analytics talks, though my final talk was not much different from what you presented.
Toggle Commented Jul 1, 2015 on R at Microsoft at Revolutions
@Philip -- thanks for your insights. Periodically, Microsoft will ask me (among many people) what I think about their analytics technologies. David put the photo of the Linux support, but I wonder what their general plans are too. For sure: Microsoft is motivated to completely utilize and expand the already-existing physical facilities which support Azure. Here is a video 5 minute tour of an Azure data center: On your claim about Microsoft missing the first few years: Microsoft introduced several robust analytics algorithms with SQL Server 2000 (the first vendor to do so at the database), with a more full delivery in 2005. I believe Microsoft's marketing focus in 2000-2005 was the core virtues of SQL Server altogether rather than the analytics technologies. The entire SQL Sever stack includes OLTP, DW, Tabular, OLAP. Put into more direct terms: they did not market the analytics portion as well as it could have been. Key people who helped develop that data mining technology left Microsoft and formed Predixion Software in 2009: they have a expanding client base with their solid Microsoft-based cloud service. Microsoft's analytics future will be jointly decided by the experts at Revolution Analytics and the current Microsoft team. Joseph Sirosh is relatively new in his position, and his whole team is new too (some have a lot of years with Microsoft but in other areas). Several key Revolution Analytics people have a new experience base to add, including from Accenture and from SAS. You mentioned Python: a few months ago, Joseph Sirosh's team adopted "Python Tools for Visual Studio". Python is one of three languages (along with R and C#) which have been already integrated into Azure ML. In the future, I'm hoping to see Python scripting incorporated into Azure ML: already R scripting is available. I agree with your observation that the typical desktop R user will not see any differences. This merger is about what could be done for the large-scale commercial users. Many data scientists trained in the last 10 years know R and they know it very well (what happened to SAS Enterprise Miner especially for students is off topic). The Azure ML free tier might appeal to the smaller scale R projects too, especially students. Finally, I offer my recommendations for how to directly "get in the know": here's how I know. Joseph Sirosh has put a priority on his team's Machine Learning blog (each division of Microsoft has this ability, but some blogs are more active than others): The general Twitter account is @MLatMSFT More formally, I recommend commercial organizations and consultants to become part of Microsoft's Partner Network. Companies such as Accenture are members. The Partner Network is the path to meetings only for partners, such as the annual Worldwide Partner Conference. Last year, I went to a few free day-long sessions on Azure. Also, partners have the opportunity to sign an NDA with Microsoft allowing them to participate in new product development (by topic). I have an NDA relationship because I am part of the Microsoft MVP program: I am among the hundreds of potential people that Microsoft might ask about their product technologies. Some of these discussions happen on Yammer. Whether Microsoft asks for feedback or participation is entirely at their discretion, and largely reflects how different product teams approach their work. Microsoft 2015 is generally motivated to work with people who have organizations ready to take their latest-and-greatest technologies to production, even and especially when that technology is in preview. They especially want people who can take their technology to the performance limits, and provide quantitative technical feedback. Independent of the NDA-world, Microsoft monitors feedback and bug reports for selected technologies at If you choose to post something there, you have to have your friends vote so that someone will respond: I registered a topic in 2014, and within a week it was the second highest voted issue for SQL Server. They are looking at my issue, but no promises on whether or when they might do something.
Toggle Commented Jan 25, 2015 on Revolution Analytics joins Microsoft at Revolutions
David -- nice article and coverage. I have been a professional consultant using SAS for years, and am now a Microsoft MVP, largely based on my knowledge of SSAS and promotion of the SSAS/Excel functions. The open source mentions you have are important since we are no longer under Ballmer's vision: today .NET is open source. I continue to have people interested in R, which I view as a mature technology at v3. Several hundred people saw my R presentation in Chicago 2013: I mentioned Revolution Analytics in the deck. I also talked about where I believe Julia fits: As a research analyst for Gigaom Research, I published a paper last fall looking at machine learning technologies (both commercial and open source). I gave some coverage to R and Revolution Analytics in that paper: There's a lot of interesting machine learning activity at Microsoft, including Microsoft Research: though lately, Joseph Sirosh seasoned at Amazon is at the center of many new announcements. I just signed up to lead a user group through the PASS organization (free, user run, and people may want to join if they want to tap into the many free resources the community provides). This virtual online chapter is called PASS Data Science: We are in the process of establishing the portal, but already have several people wanting to speak. We hope to have events with attendance at 200+ (based on similar group attendance numbers). The mission of the group is Microsoft Data Science technologies, and other open-source or commercial solutions integrated with Microsoft technologies (such as Azure). As Revolution Analytics technology leaders bring their vision into Microsoft, professionals who are interested in the free spread of helpful information (as I have been for both the SAS and Microsoft communities) will find many opportunities in the Microsoft ecosystem. Microsoft offers discounts to educational and non-profit institutions; students can find access at; new startups should leverage I encourage people to connect with me on LinkedIn or Twitter @marktabnet
Toggle Commented Jan 24, 2015 on Revolution Analytics joins Microsoft at Revolutions
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