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Cray and the Fool

Financial website Motley Fool, that is. The Google nets turned up a story that highlights Cray, “Unloved Stocks Ready to Shine.” The article highlights the CX1 as a growth driver for the company

The newest iteration will be using Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) Windows software, which has caused some reviewers to be critical, although market researchers point to the HPC as one of the largest growing segments in the IT market. With the new pricing under $100,000 per computer, the HPC market should continue to grow.

This part of the article goes on to quote a comment left by a user (Innisfael) on Fool’s CAPS web site

Cray is a singular enterprise with a specialized product that has worldwide acceptance and buyers. Its sole competitor is IBM which has a broad menu of products, bundled supercomputers being a relatively small fish for them. Once a darling of the high tech community, its fall has been a chastening. I see a group of qualified people who want to prove the validity and future of their enterprise and the superiority of their product. Score one for the little engine that could.

Which is just totally wrong. And this is part of why I think it’s so interesting when non-traditional outlets cover HPC: they often get it wrong, or at least mangled. IBM isn’t Cray’s only competitor in Cray’s primary market (large scientific and government computing), and certainly not in the market the CX1 is aimed at. And while IBM’s HPC business is small fish for them, it  hasn’t been unsuccessful by at least one measure — they dominate The List.

The fact that the article’s author picked up the comment without researching it first is understandable given what is likely to be foreign territory for him, but it’s not helpful for HPC. Maybe he just didn’t have an accessible contact. To which point I offer my services, john at insidehpc.com.

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