Customer Demand Drives Rapid Growth of High-Performance Computing on Wall Street, Reports New Microsoft Survey

NEW YORK — June 19, 2007 — Capital markets firms are rapidly adding capacity for their high-performance computing environments to meet increased customer demand, and performance, not price, is the primary purchase factor, reports a new survey released today by Microsoft Corp. at the 2007 Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) Technology Management Conference & Exhibit.

The Microsoft High-Performance Computing Capital Markets Survey 2007, sponsored by Microsoft and conducted by New York-based GfK Custom Research North America, found that 78 percent of respondents plan on expanding their high-performance computing capacity in the next 12 to 18 months. This increase is being fueled by customer demand for faster computer-simulated modeling, testing and analysis of financial data.

“High-performance computing is a critical success factor for capital markets firms to expand their businesses, and we’re seeing a real investment in innovative software to make that happen,” said Craig Saint-Amour, director of capital markets solutions in the U.S. Financial Services Group at Microsoft. “This research confirms what we’ve been witnessing in the market — that capital markets firms remain on the cutting edge, and that the dot-com bust of the early 2000s has now turned into a period of reinvestment for firms seeking technologies to help them grow.”

The online survey was conducted in June 2007 and includes responses from high-performance computing users in the capital markets industry. Significant findings include these:

  • Forty-five percent of respondents reported that customer demand is currently driving the growth of their firm’s high-performance computing needs.

  • Twenty-four percent of respondents reported that they plan on increasing the capacity of their high-performance computing environments by 1,000 nodes or more in the next 12 to 18 months.

  • Forty-seven percent reported that performance is the most important factor when purchasing an operating system to run high-performance computing applications.

  • Eighty-three percent are considering a Microsoft® high-performance computing solution for their next appropriate project.

  • Sixty-two percent report that Microsoft Office Excel® is the most widely used application in their high-performance computing environment.

  • Sixty percent are currently using a 64-bit operating system to run their high-performance computing projects.

  • Sixty-three percent report that they deploy their high-performance computing environments as a centralized or shared utility.

Recent hardware and software advances, such as more powerful, lower-cost processors and the launch of Microsoft Windows® Compute Cluster Server 2003, have made it easier for analysts, traders and portfolio managers to access high-performance computing tasks. As a result, these professionals can easily ascertain the relationship between risks and profitability and quickly perform high-value business functions.

“With the correct high-performance infrastructure in place, capital markets firms can handle larger volumes of data faster and with greater agility,” said Jeff Wierer, senior product manager for high-performance computing at Microsoft. “In addition, firms can reduce time-to-market for innovative product solutions; make smarter, faster trade and risk management decisions; reduce investment and operational risk; and improve profitability.”

About the Microsoft High-Performance Computing Capital Markets Survey 2007

GfK Custom Research North America conducted the Microsoft High-Performance Computing Capital Markets Survey 2007 in June and garnered responses from 154 qualified high-performance computing users at capital markets firms. Survey respondents work for investment banks, brokerage firms, hedge funds, online investment companies, financial advisory companies and financial planning companies. Each respondent is a user, application manager, developer, evaluator, recommender or authorizer of purchase decisions for hardware and software related to technical computing.

About GfK Custom Research North America

GfK Roper Public Affairs & Media is a division of GfK Custom Research North America specializing in customized public opinion polling, media & communications research, and corporate reputation measurement in the US and globally. In addition to delivering a broad range of customized research studies, GfK Roper Public Affairs & Media draws from GfK’s syndicated consumer tracking services, Roper Reports US and Roper Reports Worldwide, which monitor consumer values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors in the US and 30 other countries.

Headquartered in New York, GfK Custom Research, North America is part of the GfK Group. With home offices in Nuremberg, Germany, the GfK Group is among the top-five market research organizations in the world. Its activities cover five business divisions: Custom Research, Retail and Technology, Consumer Tracking, Media, and Healthcare. In addition to 13 subsidiaries in Germany, the GfK Group has more than 130 subsidiaries and affiliates in over 70 countries. For more information, visit

About Microsoft in Financial Services

Microsoft’s Financial Services Group provides software that helps financial firms transform the customer, employee and operations experience so they can maximize opportunities for increased market share and profitability. Microsoft software helps empower people and IT staff within financial firms — and across key focus areas such as advisor platforms, channel renewal, insurance value chain, enterprise risk management and compliance, and payments. Through a combination of Microsoft- and partner-provided solutions, customers enable their employees to turn data into insight, transform ideas into action and turn change into opportunity.

More information about Microsoft’s Financial Services Group can be found at

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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