MICROSOFT IS BRINGING its Quantum Development Kit to macOS and Linux, potentially ushering in an era of quantum computing apps and developers.
Last year, Redmond released a public preview of the Quantum Development Kit, though it was more likely put to use by serious boffins than the average have-a-go coder.
But since its release, Microsoft claims thousands of developers, ranging from professors and algorithm designers to students and people simply a bit qubit-curious.
Having sucked up feedback from quantum devs, Microsoft clearly decided the popularity of the Quantum Development Kit is high enough to push it out beyond Windows machines.
But Redmond has also busied itself with some improvements for the kit, including offering a fully open source license for its quantum development libraries and samples, which aim to help developers get to grips with Microsoft's Q# language and use it In their own apps.
There's also interoperability with the familiar Python programming language and faster performance in the quantum computing simulator.
Basically, the Quantum Development Kit has had a thorough nip and tuck, which should make it appealing to people who can get their head around quantum mechanics and the ability for qubits to be in two states at once. Trust us, it's a bloody headache.
Quantum computing may have been around for years in the labs of universities and big tech firms, but it still hasn't made it into the mainstream tech world.
Sure, the likes of Intel have silicon-based quantum processors that are pretty impressive but they are still in the early stages of development and can only crunch simple quantum algorithms.
So you may wonder why Microsoft has a quantum dev kit. Well, it simply provides a simulator for quantum computing, effectively allowing developers to create software for the computing systems of the future.
The simulator allows for quantum computing work to be based on systems capable of handling 20 qubits or more, which other than through a cloud platform, are not easily accessed or even close to becoming commonplace.
Nevertheless, having a range of developers on board can fuel the creation of software could potentially solve difficult problems that traditional computer would struggle with, such as impenetrable cyber security and predicting the interactions of molecules and chemicals.
This software could then be used in conjunction with cloud-delivered quantum computing, which could shake up the computing world a fair bit if the likes of IBM and D-Wave keep making quantum computing progress. µ
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