Microsoft Craig Mundie: Parallel Computing on the Way

Craig Mundie, Microsoft Corp's chief research and strategy officer, is sure he has a good handle on where technology is going. When is another story. Mundie, who took over as Microsoft's lead visionary from co-founder Bill Gates in 2006, is preparing the company for a technology shift that he expects will be as big as […]

Craig Mundie, Microsoft Corp's chief research and strategy officer, is sure he has a good handle on where technology is going. When is another story. Mundie, who took over as Microsoft's lead visionary from co-founder Bill Gates in 2006, is preparing the company for a technology shift that he expects will be as big as the rise of the personal computer or the Internet: parallel computing.

"It's a lot easier for us to have a fairly accurate sense of what will happen and even make good technical progress toward achieving it," Mundie told Reuters in an interview last week. "Almost everything we tried to do took longer than we expected."

The overseer of Microsoft's $7 billion research and development budget, Mundie knows firsthand how even promising technologies can take time to develop. After all, he has led Microsoft's efforts in Web-based television and nontraditional forms of computing. Parallel computing has been hyped for years as the next big thing in technology, allowing computers to run faster by dividing up tasks over multiple microprocessors instead of using a single processor to perform one task at a time.

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Microsoft, Internet, Parallel Computing