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Burton Smith is leaving the supercomputer maker Cray, which he co-founded, to join Microsoft.

Smith leaves the firm, where he is chief scientist, on 7 December. He is also quitting as a director of Cray.

Cray specialises in the top-end of the already rarified world of high performance computing. Bill Gates recently announced Microsoft's intention of getting into cluster and high performance computing but this is likely to be at the lower-end first.

Microsoft announced its intention to push Windows into cluster computing because it sees the technology leaving universities and government departments to become a business tool.

Smith said he had enjoyed his time at Cray and was looking forward to "a new and very different opportunity at Microsoft".

Cray's share price fell over four per cent on the news.

The statement from Cray is available here.®

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