R is has a wonderful deep user experience (UX). After one hour of learning, you can do a lot with SPSS (A popular competitor) and just a few basic tasks with R.
After ten hours, you never want to use SPSS again.
With a design that encourages users to store commonly run tasks as scripts (instead of a point-and-click interface), users quickly build a library of the complex chains of tasks they run, allowing them to be easily repeat the same process they went through in the last day, month, and year.
Meanwhile, a user of SPSS would have to remember which menus, checkboxes, and buttons were pushed half a year ago.
Good to see R getting this high-profile treatment.