Minority Report Rising: Microsoft Acquires Open-Source Software Firm Revolution Analytics


By Sharon K. Gilbert

[R]unning beneath the cutting edge, brand spanking new sections of the ever-growing and possibly proto-sentient Internet lies a language that few outside the coding world know–it’s called ‘R’, and it is owned by Revolution Analytics. Microsoft has been a major user of this ‘predictive programming’ language, and the company has signaled its future direction by purchasing Revolution Analytics for an undisclosed amount.

“R [is] the world’s most widely used programming language for statistical computing and predictive analytics,” asserted Joseph Sirosh, corporate vice president of machine learning at Microsoft in a blog post announcing the acquisition. “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.”

Future Crime may soon become just one of the many applications for the R language, as pictured in the Tom Cruise film ‘Minority Report’ (poster shown at left). If you’ve not seen–or if you’ve forgotten the major plot of the film, then you should get a copy, rent it, borrow it, or stream it stat. Much of the ‘advanced’ technology demonstrated in this film have already become true, and more are emerging as I type this article. Predictive programming and future analytics have been sold to consumers as innocent software programs that figures out whether or not I want to buy a new widget today, but it is and can be so much more. Watch the film–and then imagine that fiction becomes fact. Because it is.

Read the entire report about the acquisition via Microsoft Acquires Open-Source Software Firm Revolution Analytics 01/26/2015.