Technical Computing Initiative launched by Microsoft

One morning last week, I woke up to an email from Bob Muglia. The subject is the launch of a new initiative, Technical Computing.

So far, what they have managed to do is to launch a site called www.modelingtheworld.com, but the promises go quite a bit further: They want modeling the world to be easy and cheap, even for businesses that don’t have the amounts of computer power modeling currently takes. The team also seems to be attacking the problems regarding the complexity of modeling today.

Interesting, but it’s a long way – and so far, the program seems to be doing far more talking than delivering – the fact that they’re attaching VS2010’s parallelism tools and the concurrency runtime to the team’s merit list isn’t exactly convincing. However, as I sat down to think about it, I think Microsoft’s portfolio actually has surprisingly many assets in this regard.

  1. Windows Azure. It’s the basic element to provide the computing power and data storage.
  2. .NET Task Parallel Library and Concurrency and Coordination Runtime (CCR). It provides an easy to use basic approach for distributed computing. While TPL’s relatively high abstraction level may not be suitable for all modeling scenarios, it will certainly allow easy access to modeling.
  3. Microsoft Solver Foundation. While very little-known, it is a rather robust framework for solving mathematical problems.
  4. An excellent, cheap BI stack. Although perhaps not commonly thought so, the modeling and scientific community can greatly benefit from a good BI stack. Analyzing, and perhaps even more importantly, reporting the results makes a great difference.
  5. Codename Dallas. Although yet unpublished, Microsoft’s Data as a Service (DaaS) offering looks like a winner. Once it’s live, it’ll be a very lucrative approach for distributing and commercializing the results of modeling.

Looking forward to getting this into practice…

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May 24, 2010 · Jouni Heikniemi · No Comments
Posted in: General

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