Microsoft Acquisition A Parallel Computing Play

While Microsoft said ISC's technology will be added to the company's server division, it was otherwise mum about its specific plans for ISC's products.

The acquisition was disclosed earlier this week in a blog posting by Kyril Faenov, general manager of high-performance and parallel computing technologies at Microsoft, and in a "welcome letter" to ISC customers posted on Microsoft's Pathways acquisition information Web site. The amount Microsoft paid for ISC wasn't disclosed.

ISC designed its technology to bring parallel computing, where a computing task is broken down and executed across multiple processors for faster results, to desktop systems and high-performance computing to a wider audience. Such technology today is generally employed in such areas as scientific computing and financial modeling, rather than for day-to-day computing tasks.

The acquisition will help Microsoft apply parallel computing to a broader range of problems, Faenov said in his blog, but Microsoft was vague on its specific plans for the the ISC technology. "We have recently begun plans to integrate ISC technologies into future versions of Microsoft products and will provide more information over the coming months on where and how that integration will occur," Faenov wrote.

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"ISC's products and technology enable faster prototyping, iteration and deployment of large-scale parallel solutions, which is well aligned with our vision of making high-performance computing and parallel computing easier, both on the desktop and in the cluster," Faenov wrote.

ISC CEO Bill Blake and a team of ISC researchers are going to work at Microsoft's New England Research & Development Center in Cambridge, Mass.

Although Microsoft will no longer sell ISC's Star-P software, the company will continue supporting ISC's customers, Faenov said.