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Microsoft aims to make supercomputing more accessible with new beta releases

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Betas of Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 and distributed Microsoft Office Excel 2010 for the cluster available for download, delivering increased performance and productivity.

Together with the recently-announced Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Beta, which helps simplify parallel programming, these advances make it possible for more users to access supercomputing power through familiar technologies and tools such as Microsoft Office Excel, Windows Server and Visual Studio.

Although multicore systems are becoming ubiquitous, Microsoft believes that few developers can build parallel applications that truly leverage the available resources. Visual Studio 2010 Beta 2 aims to help make parallel programming simpler and more efficient for a broad base of developers, across both client and cluster workloads. In addition, by moving Microsoft Office Excel 2010 to the cluster, customers are seeing linear performance scaling of complex spreadsheets — spreadsheets that before would take weeks to complete, and which are now completing their calculations in a few hours.