Microsoft has harnessed a number of its scalable/multicore/cloud initiatives to create a new eXtreme Computing Group (XCG).
The new unit, created this month, is being headed by Corporate Vice President and supercomputing expert Dan Reed. According to Reed's bio on Microsoft's Web site, he will be responsible for research and development "on the cutting edge of ultrafast computing."
Here's more from Microsoft's site on the mission of XCG:
"XCG was formed in June of 2009 with the goal of developing new approaches to computing hardware and software for 'exascale' computing (more than one quintillion, or 1018, calculations per second), an area of research that the U.S. government has identified as critical for the future. The group's research activities include work in the fields of computer security, operating-system design, cryptography, datacenter architectures, specialty hardware accelerators and quantum computing."
Reed has held a variety of posts since joining Microsoft in late 2007. He most recently was Director of Scalable and Multicore Systems, as well as director of Microsoft's Cloud Computing Futures Initiative. That initiave is chartered with exploring new approaches to cloud services and datacenter design "including looking at ways to reduce hardware costs and power consumption, and increasing data centers' adaptability and resilience to failure."
Microsoft has been stepping up its investments inside and outside the company on multicore/manycore and high-end datacenter-computing projects.