MSDN magazine October 2007 had a nice little gem tucked away in an article about Parallel LINQ [1] (emphasis mine):

image Compelling Scenarios (from http://msdn.microsoft.com/msdnmag/issues/07/10/PLINQ/)

"While reading this article,  you have probably already begun to imagine some ways to use PLINQ in your own applications. Perhaps you are already using LINQ today and want to improve your application's scalability on machines with multiple processors or multiple cores. Of course, PLINQ can make your current programs run faster, but it also allows you to do more compute work and operate on larger data sizes in the same amount of time, while processing streams of data at a faster rate. In doing all of this, the new PLINQ technology might open up new application possibilities that you could not previously attempt.
Let's look at a few illustrations of scenarios in which multi-core and PLINQ open up new doors. Consider a music producer working in a sound studio who wants to apply a series of effects on raw instrument sounds to produce a more aesthetically pleasing, production-quality master track. The company that provides his mixing software could apply these effects using PLINQ. These effects are usually composed of filters and projections over large streams of data (the raw music). PLINQ could greatly speed up the production time and utilize more powerful hardware as it becomes available. This approach might even allow music transformations in near real time, instead of doing complete post-production processing.
Likewise, consider a foreign exchange currency trader who looks for arbitrage conditions (inefficiencies in the market) in order to make a profit. Such shifts are minute and disappear as the market is constantly reaching equilibrium, requiring very fast trades. Querying stock trade information using parallelism via PLINQ could enable close to real time decision making, informed by large amounts of data and complicated analysis and computations.
These are just a few samples of the ways in which the speedup provided by PLINQ on multi-core hardware can provide a business advantage. Other domains offer similar opportunities, such as healthcare, economics, geological modeling, scientific computing, traffic control and simulations, gaming, artificial intelligence, machine learning, linguistic analysis, and the list goes on."

FANTASTIC!

So fast forward to now, Soma just announced the first milestone on the road ahead to making parallel computing mainstream [2]. Bring your .NET skills and get on the bus! We'll have more at our developer conference in spring 2008! So see you there! Here are some Channel9 videos on the power of parallel computing+.NET coupled with the newly opened MSDN Developer Center for Parallel Computing where you can get the CTP for Microsoft Parallel Extensions to .NET Framework 3.5.

Good Reads

[1] A must read on changes since the MSDN article shipped.

[2] the "many core shift" white paper.