Expanding on its Technical Computing initiative, Microsoft is launching on Wednesday TC Labs, a resource for developers to access early releases of Technical Computing software.

The company is offering on Wednesday three pre-release technologies on TC Labs, which is part of the company's DevLabs site on MSDN. Among the projects is TPL Dataflow (Task Parallel Library), enabling parallel and concurrent .Net applications.

Launched last year, the Technical Computing initiative has emphasised parallel computing and also was to concentrate on cloud computing as well as technical computing tools and applications.

"Microsoft Technical Computing is focused on empowering a broader group of people in business, academia and government to solve some of the world's biggest challenges," the TC Labs home page says. The Technical Computing initiative delivers tools to harness computing capacity to make better decisions, fuel product innovation, speed research and development, and accelerate time to market, according to the page.

TPL Dataflow is a follow-up to .Net 4 technologies, including Task Parallel Library, parallel loops, concurrent data structures and other technologies collectively referred to as Parallel Extensions to the .Net Framework, said S. Somasegar, senior vice president of the Microsoft Developer Division. "TPL Dataflow provides solutions for buffering and processing data, building systems that need high-throughput and low latency processing of data, and building agent/actor-based systems," Somasegar said.

Other projects added to TC Labs include Dryad, supporting data intensive computing applications, and Sho, for data analysis prototyping. Dryad, DSC (Distributed Storage Catalog), and DryadLINQ support data-intensive computing applications on Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1. Sho provides an interactive environment for data analysis and scientific computing.

"These projects give you a chance to learn about some of the technologies being developed as part of the Technical Computing initiative, to gain early access to code, and to provide feedback for several TC-related innovative projects," Somasegar said.

"Our goal moving forward is to add additional Technical Computing projects in pre-beta states to DevLabs in order to get your early feedback and insight and to help drive these technologies in the right direction," Somasegar said.

The TC initiative has yielded such technologies as built-in support for developing and debugging multi- and many-core applications in Visual Studio 2010, Somasegar said. Also, it has produced Service Pack 1 for HPC Server 2008 R2, which integrates Microsoft Windows Azure cloud compute cycles and enables scaling for massively parallel applications.