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Microsoft agrees to buy revolution analytics to boost cloud

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Microsoft agreed to buy startup Revolution Analytics, which makes tools to sift through data, to help the company build up its cloud-services business.

[SAN FRANCISCO] Microsoft agreed to buy startup Revolution Analytics, which makes tools to sift through data, to help the company build up its cloud-services business.

Terms weren't disclosed. The deal was driven by the growing volumes of data that companies are contending with and the need for more software that can help analyze the information, Microsoft said in a blog post on Friday. Revolution Analytics, based in Mountain View, California, makes a statistics programming language called R that helps analyze data.

Microsoft is competing with companies such as Google and Amazon.com Inc. to provide computer services over the Internet, which is known as cloud computing. Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella has made the cloud a priority as he tries to reinvigorate the Redmond, Washington-based software company.

David Smith, chief community officer at Revolution Analytics, said in a blog post that the deal will spread the usage of advanced analytics within Microsoft products, including the Azure cloud service. Revolution Analytics counts financial companies such as American Century Investments and Northern Trust as customers, according to the company's website.

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The R programming language is widely used by statisticians and scientists and has surged in popularity as people have turned to it to manipulate large pools of data. R was the world's 18th most popular programming language in January, according to a study conducted by Tiobe Software, compared to 44th a year earlier. In a separate study, researcher RedMonk put R as the world's 13th most popular programming language in January, up from 15th in 2014.

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