The Microsoft development kit for the quantum computer arrives: it includes everything a developer needs to get started in quantum computing
At the Microsoft Ignite Conference in September, Microsoft announced that it would be a contender in the future of the quantum computer, and now the company has taken another step towards that goal, releasing a preview of its quantum computer development kit.
The Quantum Computer Development Kit
The kit includes all the pieces a developer needs to get started, including a Q # language and compiler, a Q # library, a local quantum computing simulator, a quantum trace simulator and a Visual Studio extension.
Quantum Computer Software
This one preview, therefore aimed at early adoptersr who want to understand what it takes to develop programs for quantum computers, which operate in a very different way from the classical ones. In simple terms, with a classic computer, a bit can only exist in a binary state of on or off, while with quantum programs a qubit (the quantum equivalent of a bit) can exist in several states at the same time. This could open the door to programs that simply could not exist before.
Control the quantum computer
This is just one piece of Microsoft's great vision for quantum computing discussed at Ignite. Krysta Svore from Microsoft stated that the idea was to offer a complete solution to control the quantum computer and write applications for it.
"We like to talk about co-development," he said. "We are developing them (the hardware and software stack) together in order to exchange useful information between the software and the hardware as we get them and this means that we can really develop a very optimized solution," said Krysta Svore.
IBM quantum computer, the challenger
Microsoft clearly wants to play a dominant role in quantum computing, but they are by no means the only ones, in fact IBM has made available a quantum computing service for programmers last year and last month made a breakthrough with the release of a quantum computer to 20 qubits; the company also presented a 50 qubit prototype.
Other companies that deal with quantum computing research include Google and Intel and a host of other established companies and startups.
We are still at the beginning of this technology and the long way to go, but the potential so great that all these companies, including Microsoft, want to enter the market as soon as possible to capture the hearts and minds of the developers.