According to a few news reports, Microsoft will create a new Windows version designed for high-performance computing (HPC), an area that rival Linux has largely dominated. A new HPC team at Microsoft headed by Director Kyril Faenov will design the new Windows version, reportedly called Windows Server HPC Edition, which could be accompanied by an HPC version of Microsoft SQL Server.
In a recent interview with Microsoft Senior Vice President Bob Muglia, I asked about areas in which the company is performing poorly against the competition, and he mentioned only one important market. "One workload I think we've historically done poorest in is high-performance computing," Muglia told me. "But that's an area where we're making some ongoing investments."
If it happens, Windows Server HPC Edition will be the most recent in a suddenly long line of Windows versions tailored to specific markets. Starting with the release of Windows XP in late 2001, Microsoft began designing Windows versions for Media Center PCs and Tablet PCs. With Windows Server 2003, the company created a Web server edition that targeted low-cost Linux boxes and server appliances. And Windows Small Business Server 2003 has been a runaway success. During my interview with Muglia, he noted that Microsoft will consider releasing other market-specific versions of Windows in the future.