Now showing on an NT workstation near you.. (September 1998)

IBM may have been a no-show but Microsoft madea strong debut at the SEG.

Teaming with Compaq and its Digital subsidiary, Microsoft tested the E&P IT water on several fronts. The message was ‘we have industrial strength solutions and are ready to take everyone on’! As an illustration of the scalability of the Microsoft/Compaq offering, the Microsoft TerraServer was on display, described as ‘the largest database on the web and most detailed atlas in the world’. TerraServer is a joint venture with the USGS, Legato Systems, Aerial Images Inc and StorageTek. TerraServer offers access to a 4 terabyte dataset of aerial and satellite data hosted on an Alpha running SQL Server, Microsoft’s competitor to Oracle. Such systems are said to scale to up to 14 processors and a huge possible 128 GB of RAM! Check out the TerraServer, and order an aerial photo of your birthplace from www.terraserver.microsoft.com. An intriguing facet of the Microsoft/Compaq/Digital arrival in E&P is the arrival of NT based systems for high performance computing.

newspeak

This represents a novelty, in that the young execs from Microsoft are pushing the technology with ‘Back Office’ newspeak. At the same time some old-time number crunching specialists from ex-DEC are back with new found enthusiasm for the 64-bit Alpha platform. Dgital was the manufacturer of the famous PDP and VAX computers, ubiquitous in seismic processing until the arrival of UNIX. Incidentally, Dave Cutler, a DEC operating system guru was the brains behind Microsoft’s NT OS. Several companies, in concert with Microsoft, announced products that now run on Windows NT. (RC) have an NT version of Resframe, the 3d reservoir modelling software running on NT. Tsurf’s GOCAD geological modeling product is now also an NT port. Volumetrix offers real-time 3D visualization of 2GB datasets on NT. Others reporting NT ports were Paradigm, CGG/Flagship and Geocenter.

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