I know both SAS and R, and I think that for people who've never programmed, the GUI-based version of SAS wins on end-user usability because end-users can click together (simple and limited) analyses on really big datasets. This has far-reaching consequences for the learning curve.
For R there exist attempts at GUI's (like e.g. R-commander) that offer point-and-click functionality but they're more sketchy.
Others have mentioned Rstudio, and that looks like it would fit the bill just fine for those users from a cursory glance; and if they could drop the money on SAS they could certainly drop the money for commercial versions of RStudio and get the extra help.
I think that giving non-programmers access to R will result in a flood of help requests because they really do need some notion of programming to use the R language. With SAS that's more in the background because the GUI tool is relatively well done, and use of the butt-ugly, antiquated and clumsy mainframe-style SAS language can usually be avoided.
Never touched that version. I only had a single desktop license for the small company that I worked at. We had it b/c the guy I replaced knew SAS very well and sold the management on it. Management just wanted the functionality; they didn't care and had the money to spare.
I think that statisticians, real analysts and data-scientists will soon feel constrained by SAS and will prefer to use SAS to prepare a dataset for analysis, and then carry out any actual analysis in R.
If they're feeling constrained, then they'll be looking for better tools. And more likely than not, if they can do it SAS they can do it in R too. So why have two tools when you only need one?
Last but not least, R is still an in-memory analysis program, which practically limits analyses to what you can be fit in core. There are packages that try to extend R in this direction, but I consider them to be poor quality and cumbersome.
Good to know; but that will probably change as things grow. I know SAS is really good at Flat File databases, but not much more; it probably has some similar constraints.
Python on the other hand is aimed squarely at programmers, and nobody else.
Very true, and I never said otherwise.