Microsoft announced the release of NCBI BLAST on Windows Azure. The new application enables a broader community of scientists to combine desktop resources with the power of cloud computing for critical biological research. At the SC10 conference Microsoft showcased Azure by demonstrating its use for 100 billion comparisons of protein sequences in a database manged by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). The Basic Local Alignment Search Tool (BLAST) application aid researchers in bioinformatics, energy, drug research and many other fields by sifting through large databases. The NCBI BLAST on Windows Azure software is available from Microsoft at no cost, and Windows Azure resources are available at no charge to many researchers through Microsoft’s Global Cloud Research Engagement Initiative. Microsoft also announced Service Pack 1 for Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 and that Tokyo’s Tsubame 2.0 supercomputer, running Windows HPC Server has surpassed a petaflop.