The second half of 2017 has seen a Microsoft driven by the thought, concept and eventual actuality of a future teeming with quantum computing. Event after event and keynote pursuant keynote, executives from Microsoft have championed the phrase quantum computing, perhaps to the dismay of their layman fans and developers who haven’t quite wrapped their heads around the study of computation systems.
Fortunately, Microsoft is looking to help usher in its new age of quantum computing and help people get on board with a new free preview of its Quantum Developer Kit.
Microsoft is releasing a free preview version of its Quantum Development Kit, which includes the Q# programming language, a quantum computing simulator and other resources for people who want to start writing applications for a quantum computer. The Q# programming language was built from the ground up specifically for quantum computing.
The Quantum Development Kit, which Microsoft first announced at its Ignite conference in September, is designed for developers who are eager to learn how to program on quantum computers whether or not they are experts in the field of quantum physics.
Microsoft is attempting to lower the barrier to entry and make Quantum Computing as accessible as possible for interested developers by tieing the preview to Visual Studio through some deep integration that then reaches back out to quantum simulators. The power to stimulate around 30 logical qubits of quantum computing power can be wielded by developers using an average laptop thanks to some tweaks on Microsoft’s end.
As with most things Microsoft is doing these days, it’s offering up an Azure-based simulation for anything larger than the 30 logical qubits of quantum processing, the additional cloud-horse power can begin simulations larger than 40 qubits of computation.
Microsoft will also be providing some documentation to help walk people through some Quantum computing theories and concepts including the idea of quantum teleportation for fans looking to bring Sam Beckett back home (insert favorite Quantum Leap episode).
The hope with this new preview is to get developers fiddling with the new technology to hopefully pave the way for solutions that can provide a future filled with realistic applications and algorithms to address artificial intelligence, climate change, and cryptography.
“What you’re going to see as a developer is the opportunity to tie into tools that you already know well, services you already know well. There will be a twist with quantum computing, but it’s our job to make it as easy as possible for the developers who know and love us to be able to use these new tools that could potentially do some things exponentially faster – which means going from a billion years on a classical computer to a couple hours on a quantum computer.”