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February 15, 2018

Microsoft, Anaconda Expand Python Partnership

Microsoft and Python data science platform vendor Anaconda have extended their partnership by adding the software giant’s code editor to the latest Anaconda distribution.

The addition of Microsoft’s Visual Studio Code (VS Code) expands its support for the latest release of the Python data science platform, Anaconda 5.1. The Python platform has attracted more than 4.5 million users running the programming language on Windows, Mac and Linux.

Along with editing and debugging features, the partners said the cross-platform code editor includes custom features for Anaconda users. For example, a Python extension customizes VS Code for the Python development environment.

Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) noted in a blog post on Thursday (Feb. 15) announcing the extended partnership with Anaconda that its Python extension is the most downloaded tool on its VS Code marketplace.

Anaconda, Austin, Texas, explained in a separate blog post that it latest distribution includes the option of installing VS Code with the new Python extension along with the extension to Red Hat’s (NYSE: RHT) YAML markup language.

Anaconda users can install and launch VS Code from its Navigator desktop interface, which also configures the code editor to use the appropriate interpreter for a preferred development environment. Anaconda stressed that its latest distribution continues to support Jupyter Notebook, Spyder and other popular development platforms.

First released in 2012, Anaconda functions as a distributed platform for analyzing data with Python and the array of popular Python-based tools such as Numpy and SciPy.

Microsoft and Anaconda announced a partnership last September designed to boost the software giant’s support for the Python language, including an Anaconda distribution running on the Microsoft SQL Server and Azure cloud machine learning platform.

At the time, the partners signaled additional support for Python and the R language on other Microsoft platforms.

As part of the initial agreement, Anaconda said last fall it would also make Microsoft R Open packages available by default to Anaconda users who also use the R language. Along with VS Code, R Client and R Tools for VS Code also were added to the Anaconda Navigator, “which helps orient data scientists to the Anaconda ecosystem,” the company said.

“By combining both R and Python in SQL Server, we are facilitating the expansion of data science across the enterprise,” said Joseph Sirosh, vice president of Microsoft’s Data Group.

Anaconda CEO Scott Collison is a former Microsoft executive.

Also last year, Anaconda (formerly Continuum Analytics) adopted Docker application container and Kubernetes container orchestration technologies. It said the upgrades would allow data scientists to deploy models to production environments with a single click.

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