The Highest-Performing Version of Windows Ever
Microsoft's play in the world of high-performance computing doesn't get the
same attention as Vista, Bill Gates' wealth or attempts to buy Yahoo. And that's
a shame because Microsoft has been doing some rather exceptional work in this
area, with much of the innovation coming directly from the geniuses at Microsoft
The core product here is Windows High Performance Computing (HPC) Server 2008,
which was just
Tools like these have been mostly used by scientists and engineers, and for
massive data-mining-type apps. But as the world starts thinking more about cloud
computing and IT thinks about building internal clouds, what used to be the
domain of the supercomputer intelligentsia could become standard datacenter
Think Windows HPC doesn't have the juice for this kind of computing? Think
again. Cray thinks the software is good enough to drive its supercomputers.
Not too shabby.
Microsoft Thinks Its Stock Is
Microsoft's stock is not the high-flier it was throughout the late '80s and
early '90s. Many investors earned their yachts, Porsches and retirement homes
on the backs of this baby. And thousands of employees became Microsoft millionaires,
driving the prices of homes in Redmond to near-Silicon Valley heights.
Since the tech crash of 2001, the stock has been stuck. Like a rocking chair,
it's going nowhere. But Microsoft thinks its own company is a pretty good deal
and is buying
back $40 billion in shares. That's like buying a Yahoo's worth of stock.
And that's on top of the $40 billion buyback already completed.
I'm no Wall Street whiz (and neither, apparently, are they), but this seems
like a good long-term move. It acknowledges that Microsoft is now a mature,
less volatile stock. It means there's stability and sound financial underpinnings.
Oh, how I wish Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates had been running Lehman, AIG and
During the tech crash in 2001, there were no federal bailouts -- and our business
came through just fine. Investors (like you and me, I'm sure) who lost money
took our lumps and went on. What lessons should we have learned from the tech
bubble burst that we can apply to today's Wall Street meltdown? Thoughts welcome
at [email protected].
Speak Out on VMware and Chrome
I'm doing two articles that I may want to quote you on. The first is about Chrome,
which we've talked about quite a bit. I'm writing a Reader Review, which means
you and your peers are the actual reviewers. Share your Chrome thoughts by writing
me at [email protected]. Over
a dozen already have.
The second article is about VMware and its plans for a datacenter operating
system, one that promises to turn all your x86 servers, network connections
and storage into a single utility. The company claims 70 percent of this functionality
is already in place. VMware users and others can contact me at [email protected]
and I'll shoot you a bunch of questions.
Both of these articles show how Redmond magazine is driven by readers
as much as it is by our writers and editors. So thanks!
Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.