1st major update to Microsoft’s Quantum Development kit brings Mac and Linux support

Kareem Anderson

While many in the tech industry are touting their ability to blend Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning into their software and services, Microsoft has begun moving to another concept of grandeur in Quantum Computing.

During lengthy keynotes at WinHec and at Build 2017,  Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella spoke ad nauseum about the possibilities of Quantum Computing and it seems the company is inching closer to making its vision a reality.

Announced yesterday, Microsoft has updated its Quantum Developer Kit and expanded its support to include both Linux and Mac operating systems.

Today we’re announcing updates to our Quantum Development Kit, including support for macOS and Linux, additional open source libraries, and interoperability with Python. These updates will bring the power of quantum computing to even more developers on more platforms. At Microsoft, we believe quantum computing holds the promise of solving many of today’s unsolvable problems and we want to make it possible for the broadest set of developers to code new quantum applications.

Per the request of the developer community, Microsoft was excited to bring Q# building of quantum applications to the macOS and Linux as well as VS Code and quantum simulation for all. Other important update notes include:

  • Full open source license for our quantum development libraries and samples. In December, we shared the source code for our libraries to help developers understand how Q# constructs work. Many developers wanted to do more than just learn with that code; they wanted to re-use it in their own applications and contribute their own enhancements back to the Q# community. We think that’s a great idea, so we’ve open-sourced the libraries here.
  • Interoperability with the Python programming language. Many developers have existing libraries of code in Python so we wanted to give them easy access to that functionality from Q# without having to port anything. Available as a preview on Windows today, Python interoperability allows Q# code to call Python routines directly, and vice-versa.
  • Faster simulator performance. We’ve increased our quantum simulator performance by up to 4-5x, giving you a much faster testing and optimization loop, especially on simulations involving 20 or more qubits.

The update is available now via a download from Microsoft’s Quantum developer blog. According to several recent sessions on the company’s developer video blog Channel 9, Microsoft plans to take several opportunities to discuss Quantum Computing at this years developer conference, so we should expect to see similar announcements leading up to May.