As you know, a recent important hardware improvement are multicore CPU’s. As opposed to just faster CPU’s, applications will not be able to take advantage of that additional hardware power in a transparent way. So we no longer have the free lunch of a doubling in performance every year and a half that we used to have for free, basically. What that means to us as software professionals is that the burden has shifted to us. We have to do more work now in order to exploit the latest performance that exists in these processors.
To reduce that burden as much as possible, Microsoft added parallel computing capabilities in the Community Technology Preview (CTP) of Visual Studio 2010 and .NET 4.0.
Read more about this here .