[R] Size of R user base

(Ted Harding) Ted.Harding at nessie.mcc.ac.uk
Mon Apr 19 23:47:59 CEST 2004

On 19-Apr-04 Kevin S. Van Horn wrote:
> (Ted Harding) wrote:
>>There is one major factor in here. The number of Windows users
>>in the world is much higher than the number of Unix/Linux users,
>>especially in the corporate sector. Organisations whose work
>>needs R/S-PLUS and whose IT is Windows based will (I believe)
>>mostly go for S-PLUS (I could expand in my reasons for believing
> But R is available for Windows, too.  I've downloaded and installed
> both the Linux and Windows versions; neither task was difficult, and
> the Windows version had a rather nicer interface.

Thanks. I know that there is R for Windows, and I'm not disputing
your comparison between R for Linux and R for Windows, but my argument
was directed at the choices people would make between S-PLUS
for Windows and R for Windows, coupled with the fact that Windows
is much more prevalent than Unix/Linux.

Though they have the choice, I argue that many (especially corporate
but by no means only these) Windows-based organisations would go for
S-PLUS rather than R (for all sorts of reasons, ranging from
"To install S-PLUS just plug in the CD and click" to the manuals for
S-PLUS and add-ons which get the user, albeit potentially brainlessly,
from installation to data-analysis much more readily than the R
documentation which does demand considerable study, thought, and
development of understanding).

Not to mention that (in theory) S-PLUS as a commercial product could
be presumed to come with guarantees and support and, quite possibly
erroneously, expected to be a better-tested, more reliable, quality
product ... it's what they pay those $$000s for, isn't it?

So the gross preponderance of Windows, and the motives of many
Windows-based organisations, will (I argue) lead to a preponderance
of S-PLUS over R.

This preponderance would, I suspect, be less marked (could just
possibly swing the other way) for Unix users. But the net effect
overall would, I believe, be that S-PLUS would outnumber R.


E-Mail: (Ted Harding) <Ted.Harding at nessie.mcc.ac.uk>
Fax-to-email: +44 (0)870 167 1972
Date: 19-Apr-04                                       Time: 22:47:59
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