Microsoft readies early preview of new parallel-computing tool

Microsoft readies early preview of new parallel-computing tool

Summary: Microsoft is making available as soon as this week an early preview build of what it's calling ParallelFX, the Parallel Extensions to the .Net Framework. The new extensions will aid developers writing software that will work on parallel-processing systems.


Microsoft execs have been talking up during the past year the ongoing shift to multi- and many-core technologies. Now the company is putting its programming tools where its mouth has been.

Microsoft is making available as soon as this week an early preview build of what it's calling ParallelFX, the Parallel Extensions to the .Net Framework.

Microsoft Developer Division Chief Soma Somasegar blogged about ParallelFX and said Microsoft planned to make the preview available on November 29. But as of this blog posting, Somasegar's blog post had been pulled. In any case, the release of the preview sounds imminent.

Update at the end of November 29: The December Community Technology Preview (CTP) of ParallelFX is on the Microsoft Downloads site now.

What the original posting did say was that ParallelFX wuold run on the recently released .Net Framework 3.5 and would rely on C# 3.0 and Visual Basic 9.0 features. These features include:

  • Imperative data and task parallelism programming interfaces, including parallel for and foreach loops, to make the transition from sequential to parallel programs simpler.
  • Declarative data parallelism in the form of a data parallel implementation of LINQ-to-Objects, allowing developers to run LINQ queries on multiple processors.
  • New concurrency runtime used across the library to enable lightweight tasks and effectively map and balance the concurrency expressed in code

Microsoft is working on a variety of many-core/multi-core projects, including its MS-ManiC (Memory Systems for Many Cores) research initiative.

Topics: Browser, CXO, Microsoft, Software Development


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • I suppose its a beginning at least

    but it has a very, very long way to go before providing much value to the coder.
  • RE: Microsoft readies early preview of new parallel-computing tool

    Why can't MS do for their App servers what BOINC has done for massively parallel efforts? Create an interface which allows for processing on multiple idle machines at once. In looking around our office there are literally hundreds of machines that could be used to process all kinds of data in a disconnected way. I've run database queries on TB data sources that take 18 hours to run. Why couldn't this be sliced up and distributed to my co-workers machines in the background?
    • Completely different task.

      What you are talking about is distributed processing.
      • Not getting the big picture

        I understand that. But what we're talking about is a choice of where that processing happens.
        • As I said, two very different beasts.

          That have very little in common.
  • another M$ innovation....err rip off

    Like the whole .nyet this is yet another rip off from OSS.
    Linux Geek
    • Really, care to explain that?

      What OSS dev tool provides for true paralell processing coding?
      • java supports threads

        and there are a lot of implementations on top of it like JMS, Google toolkit, etc
        Linux Geek
        • theads? Buwahahaha

          Dude, your ignorance is astounding. Please, find some tonka toys to play with and stay out of the way of developers.
          • What about them?

            And what about them? Java's threads are much easier to code than C++'s. Haven't tried C#'s yet.

            We've actually had the infrastructure for multiple threads of execution in place for a long time, it's just that it was mostly ignored because the overhead for handling threads wasn't worth it on a single core machine.

            Now that we have multiple core machines, there's a lot more demand for development tools to better support the multithreaded infrastructure.

            . . . and while we're at it, do you actually have a point to make, other than calling other people ignorant?
          • Re: What about them?

            The point is not about threaded programming. It is about making parallel programming easier for certain class of programmers.

            Will this thing make thread programming obsolete? No of course. We who love threads and must use threads will do so.

            The point is about making enough abstractions for a broader class of users to program in a way that lets the programs take advantage of multicore/multiprocessor business. And let experts take care of the underlying mechanics with threads and stuff. So for example, finance guy trained in just finance can write programs say using a parallel loop and threads behind the scenes can do their job without fiddling with any thread business. I am not saying it is for finance types only. But threads programming is just hard. And if a finance type guy can get his program to work reliably and faster, I guess they will pay M$ big $$ for this sort of a thing. From looking at their website, I think that is the business that Microsoft is talking about. I think this sort of thing has mostly been researchy type stuff. I don't personally know of any commercial set of stuff that is available. Now we can rely on MS's marketing machinery to push it all over the place.
    • You are too obvious now.

      Granted, we all know you do not believe 1/100th of what you post, but you really should work at getting back to some form of originality.

      You have crossed the line from "some what amusing" to "troll", whether it was intentional or not.
      • Correct: Make that FOOLISH TROLL

        Even a troll has to have some idea what they are talking about. ;-)
      • Pro-MS troll?

        He's just trying to make the ABM guys look like idiots, I think he's a pro-MS guy.
    • Shut up, fool.

      Hallowed are the Ori
  • The ParallelFX/PLINQ Download Is Available Now

    The download is now live at

  • Diff beasts

    I agree with No_Ax...
    Distributed processing is way way different. Completely different beast.
  • Alot of Options for Parallel Processing

    I have recently been looking at a lot of the flow based programming models such as DataRush. I have had a really good time fooling around with there free java library. Not to mention its a joy to watch a 16 core machine light up like a Christmas tree.
  • RE: Microsoft readies early preview of new parallel-computing tool

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