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Microsoft demonstrates supercomputing Windows

A forthcoming version of Windows Server is designed for building supercomputers from clusters of PCs.

Microsoft on Monday showed off a forthcoming version of Windows Server that's designed to help governments and businesses build supercomputers from clusters of PCs.

The company demonstrated the software at a supercomputing conference in Pittsburgh and also unveiled a new name for the product: Windows Server 2003 Compute Cluster Edition. (Previously, the company had referred to the product as Windows Server HPC Edition.) Microsoft has not made final decisions on how much the software will cost or how it will be packaged.

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The new operating system will be based on the current Windows Server 2003, the company said; the new product adds an integrated job scheduler and cluster resource management, as well as support for various clustering and networking standards. It is expected to ship in the second half of next year, Microsoft said.

As first reported by CNET, Microsoft has been planning the software since earlier this year. The software giant confirmed plans for the separate edition of Windows in June.

Microsoft said it will make a software development kit available to some partners later this month, enabling companies to begin the process of building applications that specifically target the new operating system.