Microsoft is creating a new Technical Computing Group, which company officials unveiled on May 17, and is launching (again) a corporate Technical Computing Initiative. “again” because Microsoft launched a Technical Computing Initiative back in 2004, as documented in this February 2007 Microsoft Research Technical Computing white paper.
A number of computing advances are transforming the sciences and opening up exciting new possibilities for discovery. The World Wide Web – itself a product of the physics community – has been accelerating the pace of information sharing among scientists for more than a decade. Interoperable Web Services protocols are now making it possible to connect diverse data sources and more easily share experimental results and raw data with colleagues. High-performance cluster and Grid computing architectures are expanding the ability of individual scientists to analyze and interpret greater volumes of data and simulate more complex phenomena than ever before. Quoted from the above Whitepaper.
Another quote from the Whitepaper: “The capacity of … technology has crossed thresholds that now make possible a comprehensive ‘cyberinfrastructure’ on which to build new types of scientific and engineering knowledge environments and organizations and to pursue research in new ways and with increased efficacy. The cost of not doing this is high, both in opportunities lost and through increasing fragmentation and balkanization of the research communities.”
The new group falls under Bob Muglia, President of Microsoft’s Server and Tools business, but will work closely with various groups in Microsoft Research, company officials said. The three main areas of focus of the group and the broader initiative will be cloud, parallel-programming and new technical computing tools. There is a new technical computing community Web site, www.modelingtheworld.com, launching as part of the effort.
“Windows HPC (High Performance Computing) Server 2008 and all of the capabilities in Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 that allow developers to take advantage of parallelism (e.g., parallel profiler and debugger and the ConcRT (concurrent) runtime are examples of technology the Technical Computing group has already delivered. In the future we’ll be delivering Technical Computing services on top of Microsoft Azure that will integrate with desktop applications from Microsoft and partners.”