…Microsoft is trying several different approaches in its efforts to find the right abstraction.
The first one announced was Parallel LINQ, also known as PLINQ. Like SQL, parallelization is handled by the language itself without effort by the developer. Simply tack on an AsParallel to the query and everything else just works. Well usually, but just like SQL there are times with additional options need to be specified.
More on ‘PLINQ’ can be found in the MSDN magazine article "Running Queries On Multi-Core Processors":
PLINQ is a query execution engine that accepts any LINQ-to-Objects or LINQ-to-XML query and automatically utilizes multiple processors or cores for execution when they are available. The change in programming model is tiny, meaning you don’t need to be a concurrency guru to use it. In fact, threads and locks won’t even come up unless you really want to dive under the hood to understand how it all works. PLINQ is a key component of Parallel FX, the next generation of concurrency support in the Microsoft® .NET Framework.
This is very cool!