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About Microsoft R Open: The Enhanced R Distribution

Microsoft R Open: The Enhanced R Distribution

Microsoft R Open, formerly known as Revolution R Open (RRO), is the enhanced distribution of R from Microsoft Corporation. The current release, Microsoft R Open 3.4.1, is based the statistical language R-3.4.1 and includes additional capabilities for improved performance, reproducibility and platform support.

Just like R, Microsoft R Open 3.4.1 is open source and free to download, use, and share.

Microsoft R Open includes:

  • The open source R language, the most widely used statistics software in the world
  • Compatibility with all packages, scripts and applications that work with R-3.4.1
  • The installation of many packages include all base and recommended R packages plus a set of specialized packages released by Microsoft Corporation to further enhance your Microsoft R Open experience
  • Support for Windows and Linux-based platforms

Plus these key enhancements:

Furthermore, you can access documentation and a forum to help you use R more effectively.

Download and install Microsoft R Open 3.4.1 today, free of charge.

R: A Complete Environment

R is a complete environment for data scientists.

Microsoft R Open 3.4.1 was built on R-3.4.1 from the R Foundation for Statistical Computing. R is the most widely-used language for statistics and data science, and is ranked the 9th most popular of all data science languages by the IEEE. R is used by leading companies around the world as part of data-driven applications in industries including finance, healthcare, technology, scientific research, media, government and academia.

The R language includes every data type, data manipulation, statistical model, and chart that the modern data scientist could ever need. Learn more about R here.

Total Compatibility

R developers have contributed thousands of free add-on packages for R, to further extend its capabilities for data handling, data visualization, statistical analysis and much more. Learn more about R packages here. Over 11000+ packages are available in CRAN (the Comprehensive R Archive Network), and you can browse packages by name or by topic area at MRAN. Even more packages can be found at GitHub (including the RHadoop packages to integrate R and Hadoop) or in the Bioconductor repository. All packages that support R-3.4.1 are compatible with Microsoft R Open 3.4.1.

Microsoft R Open is also compatible with R user interfaces including RStudio, which we recommend as an excellent IDE for R developers. Applications that include the capability to call out to R are also compatible with Microsoft R Open. If you would like to integrate R into your own application, DeployR Open is designed to work with Microsoft R Open.

Multithreaded Performance

Microsoft R Open includes multi-threaded math libraries to improve the performance of R.

From its inception, R was designed to use only a single thread (processor) at a time. Even today, R works that way unless linked with multi-threaded BLAS/LAPACK libraries.

The multi-core machines of today offer parallel processing power. To take advantage of this, Microsoft R Open includes multi-threaded math libraries.
These libraries make it possible for so many common R operations, such as matrix multiply/inverse, matrix decomposition, and some higher-level matrix operations, to compute in parallel and use all of the processing power available to reduce computation times.

Learn more about how to install and control the number of threads.

See the performance benchmarks.

Reliable R code (Reproducible R Toolkit)

Microsoft R Open offers reproducibility support through its default CRAN repository snapshot, and the checkpoint package.

Most R scripts rely on one or more CRAN packages, but packages on CRAN change daily. It can be difficult to write a script in R and then share it with others, or even run it on another system, and get the same results. Changes in package versions can result in your code generating errors or, even worse, generating incorrect results without warning.

Fixed CRAN Repository

Microsoft R Open offers predictability by default. During installation, the CRAN repository is configured to point to a specific CRAN repository snapshot. For Microsoft R Open 3.4.1, this fixed CRAN repository snapshot was taken Sept 1, 2017 and never changes (until the next release). This means that every user of Microsoft R Open has access to the same set of CRAN package versions. This makes sharing R code that relies on R packages easier, and reduces the chance of incompatible R packages being installed on the same system. Learn more about Microsoft R Open's fixed CRAN repository snapshot....

The checkpoint Package

As another enhancement to R, the checkpoint package is also installed from CRAN during the installation of Microsoft R Open. This package, available on CRAN, is designed to make it easy to write reproducible R code by allowing you to go backward (or forward) in time to retrieve the exact versions of the packages you need. All you need are two lines of code to access package versions from a different date. Learn more about checkpoint...


Tip! You can further configure Microsoft R Open for reproducible research by disabling the automatic saving of the R workspace. Learn how...

Launching Microsoft R Open

The current release, Microsoft R Open 3.4.1, is based on the R language engine (R-3.4.1); therefore you can expect all R scripts and packages to behave exactly the same as they do with R-3.4.1.

However, the way in which you can access the application differs as follows:

  • On OS X, you can launch the R GUI by clicking Microsoft R Open.app in the Applications folder.

  • On Windows, launch the R GUI by choosing Start Menu > MRO > MRO Rgui 3.4.1 64 bit.

  • The command-line application remains R in order to maintain compatibility with third-party applications that connect to R. Installing Microsoft R Open will overwrite any existing R application.

If you use RStudio, there’s no special configuration required. After you install Microsoft R Open, RStudio will automatically find it and use it as the R engine.

Help and Resources

Microsoft R Open provides detailed installation instructions and learning resources to help you get started with R.

Visit the User Forums for discussions with other users.