Microsoft Delays Windows for Clusters

Microsoft has pushed back its version of Windows for supercomputers, acknowledging Wednesday that it was six months behind on the operating system. The high-end Windows Server 2003, dubbed Corporate Cluster Edition, is being crafted to tackle intensive parallel computing workloads, and to deploy and manage clusters.

The product, formerly known as Windows Server High Performance Computing Edition, was announced last June with a final ship date slated for the end of 2005. Last week, Microsoft officials said a beta release would be made in the first half of this year.

But the timetable has now shifted, the company says. "As always, Microsoft has collected customer and partner feedback on product features and specifications to ensure this first version release is tailored properly for our target customer segment -scale-out, personal and department supercomputing," a Microsoft spokesperson told BetaNews.


"To ensure this feedback is incorporated, Microsoft is now planning to deliver the first beta to customers in the second half of 2005 and the final release is scheduled for first half 2006."

A software development kit for the new platform that was shipped late last year to ISVs and OEMs will now be refreshed this summer.

With Windows Server 2003 CCE, Microsoft is targeting an area once dominated by UNIX. The company plans to lower the costs for customers by developing an off-the-shelf solution with partners including AMD, IBM and Intel. The delay will give Microsoft more time to work on its management and deployment tools, officials said.

"Microsoft has heard customers and partners say the overall management and deployment of the solution is an important requirement for personal and department HPC. As a result, Microsoft is placing additional focus in this area."

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