Bill Hilf

HPCwire's People to Watch 2011

Bill Hilf

Bill Hilf
General Manager
Technical Computing Group, Microsoft

Mr. Hilf has sparked the attention of many in the HPC community lately, due largely in part to Microsoft’s recent efforts to “democratize” high performance computing by making HPC available to a broader business audience, first with Windows HPC Server, and most recently by luring potential cloud customers with Azure. Referring to Microsoft’s intent to focus squarely on the needs of HPC’s “missing middle”, Hilf was quoted recently as saying, “We’re not trying to be a supercomputing company. We’re trying to say ‘how do we mainstream all of this stuff so that HPC becomes broadly available at all levels.’ Is this ‘MS speak’ for “We are getting out of HPC”?

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As the general manager of the technical computing business for Microsoft, Mr. Hilf oversees worldwide business and marketing for technical computing, focusing on High Performance Computing, parallel, and cloud computing. Hilf’s division also specializes in research and product development, including desktop applications, servers, clusters and developer tools.

Previously, Mr. Hilf was general manager of Windows Server Marketing and Platform Strategy, where he was responsible for global marketing of Windows Server products and leading Microsoft’s platform strategy and open source interoperability efforts.

Before joining Microsoft, he led IBM Corp.’s Linux/Open Source Software technical strategy at a worldwide level, and held a variety of senior technical management and software architect positions for multiple Silicon Valley-based software companies.

Mr. Hilf is also the founder of a sports-based non-profit organization called ‘High Five Hope’, which focuses on homeless and street children in developing countries and he also works with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), to help build computer labs in refugee camps. If for no other reason, the combination of technology business leader and philanthropist makes Hilf an interesting person to watch over the year ahead.

A graduate of Chapman University Graduate School, Mr. Hilf holds more than 10 patents in the distributed computing domain.

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