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Re: [libreplanet-discuss] Microsoft and a version of R

From: J.B. Nicholson-Owens
Subject: Re: [libreplanet-discuss] Microsoft and a version of R
Date: Fri, 26 Jun 2015 20:23:34 -0500
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:31.0) Gecko/20100101 Icedove/31.7.0

Andrés Muñiz Piniella wrote:
So MS excel is looking to imitate gnumeric which already consults
with R project to get accurate statistics? Why would they need to buy
company to do this? Or did I miss something?

In order to legally distribute a non-free, user-subjugating program compatible with R, Microsoft will need to either develop that software anew or acquire an organization that has already done this work (such as what Tibco claims to have done). Perhaps Microsoft chose the latter because it's cheaper & faster for them to buy a non-free R implementation instead of developing their own. Naturally, this would all hinge on Tibco's work not being a derivative of GNU R, or being licensed to them such that Tibco could change the license to whatever they want.

Any organization looking to defend the conclusions they reach using R, or protect the security of their systems running R would be wise to keep using GNU R and dismiss the language found in out of hand for not providing software freedom (which is, of course, of value unto itself). Just like in any other program, software freedom grants GNU R users opportunities non-free software doesn't.

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