back to article Microsoft super sizes multi-threaded tripe

Herb and pepper crusted Kobe steak medallions presented on a bed of arugula and baby spring greens tossed in a lemon fennel vinaigrette with baby red and yellow pear tomatoes; haricot verts; toasted sweet and spicy walnuts and crumbled Point Reyes blue cheese presented on the side; and a garnish of puff pastry triangles topped …


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  1. Greg Nelson


    Unbelievable you didn't mention the wine. Please tell me you were served a decent wine with what reads as a good meal. Not cola, tell me it wasn't some sugary energy drink?

    Bill Gates said that ( by now ) hardware would be all but free and come 'bundled' with the software. He miss timed the Internet and had to play catchup. But, hey, Howard Hughes laughed off the jet engine... he didn't say, "It'll never fly" but he passed it by and had to play catchup later on.

    Will the spaghetti monster code said to lay under the hood of Windows make the transition to multithreaded/multicore Nirvana an impossible path for even the most profound coder gurus to walk? Isn't Solaris a full length in front of the pack when it comes to multithreaded code running on multicores.

    If Microsoft did indeed serve a fine wine with mentioned repast then I've no doubt they're in deep trouble and badly scared. Otherwise you'd of got bagels and so so coffee.

  2. Tom

    Songs to sing by...

    Wasn't "California Dreamin'" after "Monday, Monday".

    A better title now is "Redmond Dreamin'". It looks like Microsoft has lost its "free lunch" as well!

    Apologies to 60's Mama's & Papa's. Both were good songs!

  3. Ashlee Vance (Written by Reg staff)

    No booze

    No wine, sadly. It was a lunchtime US gig, after all.

    Still, they had iced tea, which is just fine, if you're a Texan.

    The beef was actually described as Kobe NY Steak. Can anyone explain that? NY supplier of Kobe?

    Google would never stoop to stateside Kobe.


  4. Don Mitchell

    Code and Multicore

    It is not the case that Windows code is "spaghetti". In fact critics were fairly positive about the source code that leaked from Windows 2000 some time ago (contrary to what Dave Jewell said in his recent tirade about Vista).

    Right now, Linux has a more serious problem with multiprocessors and Windows. Originally a single-proc OS, it has never been very well architected for parallel hardware. Too many concurrency choke points in its kernel. The lore is that Linux poops out at 4 cores. The Windows kernel makes it to 8 cores, and some applications like MS SQL Server do very well on 16 or 32 processors -- using a carefully tuned layer around the operating system (the so-called SQL OS layer).

  5. Matthew Barker


    The trouble with "lore" is just that it's lore. It's word of mouth and it stays around in our brains, inaccuracies growing with age and repetition.

    Linux doesn't choke on 4 CPUs any more. It hasn't in a long time.

    I know better than that and I'm not even particularly fond of Linux.

    Some of the server vendors who bought into Linux worked hard on this point.

    SGI sold a 10k processor machine to NASA. It was running Linux. True, the single-system image pieces of it were only 512 processors.

    But you can run either pthreaded or OpenMP or MPI code on Linux with that many processors.

    Unless I'm mistaken, I don't think anyone's done that with Windows yet. They probably will someday, since money will buy the necessary engineering time to solve the problem.



  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Both oses can run on mp systems...

    but they have different problems. Linux has too many single threaded code in it, while windows was never supported on really big hardware. The windows nt kernel was designed for multiprocessor systems from the ground up. The windows32 subsystem that we use today had it's problems mainly around the user and gdi interfaces that are real relics. Linux on the other had used one giant kernel lock in the past and it's hard for developers to break this into smaller pieces without a full kernel rewrite (aka. linux3.x). On the other hand microsoft was sloppy in supporting mp systems but they could if they ever wanted.

    ps: The 4 core, 8 core, 16 core myths come from different levels of mp support code. This is just the question of the driver support for the motherboard chipset. While linux struggled to get mp hardware support in the past now it's better, and even winnt4.0 could scale to 32 cpus given the right hardware and today 256 cpus per box could be supported without much trouble as long as the kernel team or the hardware manufacturer provides the required driver.

  7. tom hall

    Erlang is the answer?

    Very interesting, I'm certainly getting involved.

  8. tom hall

    Solaris is the answer?

    Sun have Solaris working on the 32 "core" Niagara (depending on how you count; 8 4-way cores)

    See - outstanding.

    More within my price range is a dual socket-f athlon board with 2 dual core cpus for now, ready to go to 2 quad core.

    From a video presentation by Bill Moore on ZFS (see ) I get the impression Sun have been thinking about concurrency for some time in their kernel.

    I'm waiting till stops being alpha and then I should have most of debians tools and the SunOS kernel.

  9. Uwe Dippel

    Slightly OT

    Any chance you need a new reporter or so ? - I am sure I'd be much better at qualifying food and drinks.

    Nevermind the technical stuff, but reporting from Microsoft, that wasn't supposed to be all too relevant, as usual.

  10. Ian Michael Gumby

    Single threaded under Linux is not a problem...


    So you now have mulicore machines which is basically an SMP box on a chip.

    Linux groks multi threads. If you have a single threaded ap, so what? It runs on one thread on one core. That doesn't mean you can't have multiple threads running and different apps on each thread. Nor does it mean that you can't have multiple copies of the single threaded app running in parallel.

    With respect to mySQL, that's not the end of the world. IBM's IDS (Informix Dynamic Server) is multi-threaded and runs great. So multi-core processors are a good thing and that productivity tools like app servers, databases and web servers will run under multi-core machines just fine today.

    Too much BS about OS design coming from those who only grok windows.

    Not saying just use Linux, but also Mac OS (Mach kernel based),Sun Solaris... AIX, HP-UX all dealt with SMP OSs.

  11. executor485

    Dual core... Lets get some 64bit support too...

    I completely agree that companies (especially microsoft) need to optimize applications for dual core processors... But consider the fact that 64bit processors have been produced by AMD for at least 3 years now? And yet how many applications even support the 64bit architecture, let alone are optimized for it? Almost all programs are still running in a 32bit environment and use a single core.

    I've tried XP 64bit edition and it was horrible. Almost no drivers for even some of the most simple of hardware and there were a lot of programs that wouldnt run without using a program that emulates the 32bit environment.

    So lets look at the fact that companies are just building on the old technology because they dont have to worry about supporting the newer stuff. When will they start optimizing for multi core 64bit processors, let alone multi core 32bit?

  12. Mat

    ... whatever ...

    Pretty disappointed to read "fanboy" type comments here ... An article is written about Microsoft's software that perhaps isn't as glowing as some would like and it doesn't take long til we get down to the level of "yeah, but Linux is worse, it's blah blah blah ...". Irrespective of the question of accuracy of the comment, it's just childish.

    And as for the "Spaghetti code" in Windows... wasn't this as much as admitted by Mr Gates himself in the Wall Street article referring to the mess they were in over Longhorn's development?

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