Just days after announcing the second beta of its Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003, Microsoft has lured Burton Smith, chief scientist at supercomputer maker Cray, into the Redmond, Wash., fold.
Smith, who was also a director at Cray, will leave the company this week to become a technical fellow at Microsoft.
Bill Gates, Microsofts chairman and chief software architect, used his keynote address at the Supercomputing 2005 show last month to announce the second beta of the clustering software, furthering the companys push into the competitive high-performance computing space.
Smith co-founded Tera Computer in 1987. The company changed its name in 2000, when it bought Silicon Graphics Cray Research supercomputing business.
Until last year, Cray was focused on the highest echelon of the supercomputing space, selling its X1 system for as much as $100 million. However, in early 2004, the company bought OctigaBay Systems, which had developed a high-performance computing platform powered by Advanced Micro Devices Opteron chip. The move has allowed Cray to bring its supercomputing capabilities into the mainstream, expanding its potential customer base.