There are fast computers, and then there are Linux fast computers. Every six months, the Top 500 organization announces "its ranked list of general purpose systems that are in common use for high end applications." In other words, supercomputers. And, as has been the case for years now, the fastest of the fast are Linux computers.
Microsoft is proud that a system running Windows HPC Server 2008 took 10th place... behind nine supercomputers running Linux. Even then, this was really more of a stunt than a demonstration that the HPC Server system is ready to compete with the big boys.
In the meantime, the real work is being done on the Linux computers. The number one supercomputer? Once more it's IBM's Linux-powered Roadrunner That's the same supercomputer, which this summer broke supercomputing's sound barrier: a sustained run of more than one petaflop per second or 1.026 quadrillion calculations per second. Beat that Microsoft!
Needless to say, all the Linux systems do have working parallel-processing languages, like GCC, PGI and PathScale. For now, and the foreseeable future, Linux will not only stay the fastest computers, they'll also be the most useful fast computers.
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