Microsoft not sparking any HPC dreams

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I just saw a tweet about Microsoft’s DreamSpark program

Microsoft logoDreamSpark is simple, it’s all about giving students Microsoft professional-level developer and design tools at no charge so you can chase your dreams and create the next big breakthrough in technology – or just get a head start on your career.

Fabulous idea, and really something that each and every software vendor should consider doing (in theory, though I haven’t looked into it enough to know whether MS has bunged up the implementation). Although Windows Server is available (good), HPC Server is not.

Augh! Just when it seems that everyone in the computing community is wailing about how we are going to get parallelism pushed further down into curricula, MS doesn’t put its showpiece HPC software in the mix. I’ll grant that far more kids would download and use Visual Studio than HPC Server, and yes I know you can do multicore parallelism with VS, but I’m just positive that there 100 kids out there who would build a Windows HPC-powered cluster if they could. And maybe 5 of those would pick HPC as a career.

So, easy win. Just put Windows HPC Server in the mix, and then point kids at the already rich set of materials you are developing around how to use and deploy it. If I’m wrong and no one downloads it, I’ll buy Ballmer a beer at the next SC and he can call me a moron in person.


  1. […] Microsoft not sparking any HPC dreams […]


  1. I think there would be many students interested in trying out Microsoft’s HPC-ware. Last year at SC08, the ASU students used Microsoft’s HPC software to good effect in the cluster challenge (on Cray hardware). The potential for attracting new minds to this market is huge – come on Microsoft, get in the game.

    – Brent

  2. Getting the technology to the students is really the best way of getting it adopted – pity that high prices tend to stop potential users, however that being said the freeware market is thriving these days!