The fourth 'major version' of the HPC software brings improved performance and reliability to the HPC platform, simplifies the installation experience, and adds some great new features such as:
Support for Windows Server 2012 (head nodes, compute nodes, broker nodes, and unmanaged server nodes) and Windows 8 (as clients and workstation nodes)
The ability to customize the tuning of MPI operations for improved performance on your hardware
The ability to increase cluster robustness by adding more than 2 head nodes in a failover cluster group
The ability to install a head node on a Windows Azure VM, so an entire cluster can run 'in the cloud'
All features previously split between the 'Express,' 'Enterprise,' and 'Workstation' or 'Cycle Harvesting' editions now available through a single installation
Additional features are described in the What’s New in HPC Pack 2012 document
If you are using the Windows Azure HPC Scheduler SDK, this update comes with the same reliability and performance improvements that the HPC Pack is getting, and also adds compatibility with the Windows Azure SDK October 2012 / v1.8 release.