A free preview of Microsoft's Quantum Development Kit is now available

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The free preview of the new Quantum Development Kit includes the Q# programming language, a quantum computing simulator, as well as other necessary resources.

Quantum Development Kit's new free version includes the Q# programming language, a quantum computing simulator, and other tools for developers who want to test and debug their quantum algorithms.

"Our quantum development kit enables you to write programmes for these large calculations today", said Krysta Svore, principal researcher Microsoft quantum computing in an introductory video.

The kit - now available to download - has three components: a quantum programming language Q#, local and Azure hosted quantum simulators and a GitHub library of quantum focused code. "It is to be used for writing sub-programs that execute on an adjunct quantum processor, under the control of a classical host program and computer".

In the simple of terms, traditional computers use binary code formed of bits, which exist in one of two states - off and on - thereby governing how data is read and computed upon in transistor arrays that make up computer hardware.

All of these resources give budding developers the tools they need to start creating quantum computing applications and many will be transferable to the topological quantum computer that Microsoft is now developing.

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For example, numerous current breakthroughs in AI are based in part on machine learning, in which a system is given a set of data and learns from that data to recognize things like words, sounds or objects.

It has four key features with the first and foremost being that it's designed for developers looking to learn programming for quantum machines.

The company is bullish on its effort to build a useable quantum computer; earlier this year announcing a multi-year, multi-million dollar partnership with the University of Sydney as part of an ongoing global ramp-up of research.

"It seems like there's a huge amount of potential there, and we're just scratching the surface", she said.

Microsoft's approach is centered on the development of a topological qubit, a more robust type of qubit that Microsoft's experts believe will provide a better basis for practical, scalable quantum computing. They need to be stored at very low temperatures, for example, or they might be disturbed and destroyed. The goal of that content is to give the background that devs will need to take advantage of aspects of computing that are unique to quantum systems, like quantum teleportation.

It's worth noting that Redmond is competing with the likes of Google and IBM to develop real-life quantum computers that are more powerful than a handful of qubits. The hope is that these tools will make the power of quantum computing accessible to many more people.

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