[Beowulf] MS HPC... Oh dear...

Thomas H Dr Pierce TPierce at rohmhaas.com
Tue Jun 13 07:48:57 PDT 2006


We are all sooooo technical! 

It does not work that way....

Microsoft HPC will work IF the market wants the technology that they can 
supply.  The answer is in market segments. And the Supercomputer market 
segment has been the science and engineering users of the last 30 years. 
It has not changed its market much. As technology got complex, the 
simulation market has grown some, but not to the extent of the word 
processing or spreadsheet market place or the home web access or gaming 
markets have grown over the same time period. 

The Linux HPC market is on the market demand track from  CDC -> Cray -> 
Vax -> Unix Workstation -> Linux . It has grown modestly, but not 
enormously. Dual CPUs have a bigger growth market and potentially the 
Microsoft HPC could help develop 4-way and 8-way processors as standard 

Technical issues will not  maintain the market  for cluster computing. Nor 
will technical best-of-breed win over uninterested markets.  The past is 
full of superior technical solutions losing to market accessible 
good-enough solutions ( eg betamax vs VHS and token ring vs Ethernet .. 
and the beat goes on...) 

To paraphrase, I know (some) Linux, Linux is a "friend" of mine, Windows 
is "No Linux" - but I doubt I am the market segment that Windows is "good 
enough"  for.

So please desist discussing technical superiority. Technical issues are 
not the key issue in market segment growth of HPCs.  So lets see who wants 
CPU power with windows  integration and discover how big that market is.

   Tom Pierce
    Bldg 7/ Rm 207D - Spring House, PA
    215-641-7475 - Office 
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