Windows Server 2003 Compute Cluster Edition

Microsoft is developing software for high performance computers, those that are often used in science projects, like weather prediction and other engineering projects. Bill Gates plans on announcing the release today at the supercomputing industry conference in Seattle.

Craig Mundie, one of Microsoft’s chief technical officers, said the company is entering the market as high-powered computers are becoming more affordable, allowing the market to expand to a point where it makes sense for Microsoft to get into it. Such computers are used for computing, storing and sharing data for a wide variety of uses, ranging from creating better medications to engineering automobiles.

While such computers used to easily cost as much as $1 million, Mundie said some are now available for as little as $4,000 or $5,000.

The Microsoft product, called Windows Server 2003 Compute Cluster Edition, is due out in the first few months of 2006. The company has not yet set pricing.

Gates is giving the keynote speech at the SC|05 Conference.