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Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 Beta and Microsoft Office Excel 2010 for cluster Announced

At Supercomputing 2009, Microsoft released betas of Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 and distributed Microsoft Office Excel 2010 for cluster. Together with 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. “HPC Server enables cluster supercomputing on x64 versions of Windows Server 2008 R2. With HPC Server 2008 R2 beta, testers can run test builds of Excel 2010 and Visual Studio 2010, supporting development and use of parallel and scalable applications.” “In addition, by moving Microsoft Office Excel 2010 to cluster, customers’re seeing linear performance scaling of complex spreadsheets — spreadsheets that before would take weeks to complete, and which’re now completing their calculations in a few hours. To give a sense for the way it juices up Excel, the company cites the example of a life-insurance actuarial firm that was able to reduce the amount of time to process 1,700 records from 14 hours to less than three minutes. Processing 1 million records previously took more than seven days, but was reduced to about two hours.”

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