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Microsoft Science

Microsoft Develops New Programming Language For Quantum Computers ( 120

Microsoft's newest programming language will run on yet-to-be developed quantum computers. An anonymous reader quotes CIO Today: Microsoft said its new quantum computing language, which has yet to be named, is "deeply integrated" into its Visual Basic development environment and does many of the things other standard programming languages do. However, it is specifically designed to allow programmers to create apps that will eventually run on true quantum computers... Like other companies, such as Google and IBM, Microsoft has been working for years to advance quantum computing research to the point where the technology becomes feasible rather than theoretical... Joining Satya Nadella on stage, Fields Medal-winning mathematician Michael Freedman added, "Microsoft's qubit will be based on a new form of matter called topological matter that also has this property that as the information stored in the matter is stored globally, you can't find the information in any particular place..." The programming language is expected to be available as a free preview by the end of the year and "also includes libraries and tutorials so developers can familiarize themselves with quantum computing," Microsoft said.
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Microsoft Develops New Programming Language For Quantum Computers

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    So successful mathematicians' fate is to get to gobble corporate cock by shilling for the next release of New Big Thing (TM) (R)?

    Today is a day for mathematicians to hang their heads in shame.

  • neat (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 08, 2017 @04:32PM (#55332317)

    So does this mean Microsoft quantum software can be in a superposition state of both running and crashed?

    • Re:neat (Score:5, Funny)

      by michelcolman ( 1208008 ) on Sunday October 08, 2017 @04:38PM (#55332353)

      Hasn't that always been the case with any Microsoft software? Their users are constantly struggling with the uncertainty principle and can often make a system collapse merely by observing it.

      • Hasn't that always been the case with any Microsoft software? Their users are constantly struggling with the uncertainty principle and can often make a system collapse merely by observing it.

        Hence all the telemetry in their products.

        (And, not sure if I mean to be funny, informative, insightful, etc...)

      • by Anonymous Coward
        When Windows switched to the NT kernel for XP, I basically stopped having crash issues from Windows. In Vista the new security model further improved stability by dragging program devs kickng and screaming away from their kludge-ridden coding practices, so we saw overall stability improve further. Windows 7 fixed the serious performance and UI problems of Vista and largely ended the era of "Windows is an unstable piece of shit." I routinely leave Windows 7 and 10 machines powered on without reboots for many
        • In Vista, for me. File Manager became completely unreliable. I must have gotten your bugs. Couldn't upgrade to 7 fast enough.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Windows and Linux are effectively equally reliable today. Neither is crash-proof but both are damned fine at staying up and running without incident.

          This is true only if you ignore the rampant malware that continues to infect Windows machines. Before you say "but popularity!", remember, to the user it really doesn't matter why these things happen. What matters is that using Linux effectively means you can ignore malware infections.

          I don't think you're being intellectually honest when you conveniently omit this fact.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          I agree with you Windows is stable.

          But still I am angry at all the other indignities heaped on me all these years. So I will perpetuate the meme that Windows is an unstable piece of crap as long as possible.

          That jerks who decided to violate the then accepted norms of not using white spaces in path names just so that he can laugh and giggle at the unix descendants who have to fix all the scripts, this is for them.

          The jerks who decided to withdraw support for command line builds in visual studio and bro

          • So you're willing to lie and deceive because you see yourself as some sort of vigilante who's out for vengeance. Yet you still believe you hold the moral high ground. +5 interesting indeed.
            • In the game of chicken the most rational winning strategy is to be highly irrational. The rules of the game are irrational, rationality will lose.

              You can put on the airs of smug superiority and laugh at us for being parochial and fanboism and irrational response etc.

              Read game theory, iterated prisoners dilemma problem, universal defector, universal cooperator, tit-for-tat strategy and understand the evolution of altruism, the conditions needed for altruism to emerge, and the conditions under which the soc

          • That jerks who decided to violate the then accepted norms of not using white spaces in path names just so that he can laugh and giggle at the unix descendants who have to fix all the scripts, this is for them.

            That's part of a longer transition from limited filenames (remem~1.ths?) to human-readable filenames. Allowing spaces was the right thing to do.

            • The right way to do it would be to propose "human readable file name" as an attribute to all files and have it accepted by some sort of ACM standard of POSIX standard and allow for clean migration of file names. But the decided to deliberately roll it in, and made sure most of the default locations "Documents and Settings" "Program Files" included the space just to break scripts, to break interoperability of scripts between unix and windows. It was no innocent thing they did.

              Unix can support any character

              • So you deliberately wrote scrips that supported only a subset of filenames, reducing ease of use in favor of ease of programming. That's not innocent either.

                • We came first. We wrote scripts based on the agreement that "whitespace in path names are to be avoided for portability and interoperability". We had set up some convention. Follow it, respect it. They overthrew it with malicious intent just to break interoperability. So I hate them.
        • by Anonymous Coward


          My Windows blue screened on be just the other day. Not the blue screen of old but a spiffy new high res one.

          Also Win 10 fails to operate regularly, when it insists on installing updates and rebooting itself.

          In this case MS has no excuses about drivers and such. This is on a Surface Pro 4. MS hardware.

          Failures of my Linux desktop machines over the decades have been so rare that when does happen I go into shock.

      • a company worth what msft is can do what they want. they will find and pay the right people to do the job.
        • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

          M$ is always chasing other people's work. The two big software languages will be, the programming learning language and the second with be the software engineering language, where you no longer write code but you write fully detailed software engineering coding specifications and the code compiler does a coding pass and test prior to compilation. Failures in code a tied back to insufficiently detailed or contradictory specification. Brag about that coding software not just variations in the current theme an

        • No, they will do what they can with the people they have and call the results, no matter how horrible, the right thing.

      • That's the case with any software and the universe itself. We are all Schrodinger's cat.
    • So does this mean Microsoft quantum software can be in a superposition state of both running and crashed?

      The Blue Screen of

      That just sounds wronERROR:IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_heck_I'm_not_really_sure_anymore

    • Yep. []
    • No, the two states are crashing and rebooting.

    • A beige screen of uncertainty appears. Press any key to find out.

    • by catsRus ( 548036 )
      Flip a coin with Clippy to find out.
    • The Blue Screen Of You-Have-To-Click-To-See-If-It-Is-Dead.
    • No. It just means that the Clippy feature is both shipped and killed simultaneously.

  • I wonder how fast a quantum computer executes and infinite loop?
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft Visual Basic was discontinued in 1998

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Everyone knows that the software is the hardest part of making a quantum computer. LOL!

  • by slashmydots ( 2189826 ) on Sunday October 08, 2017 @05:22PM (#55332505)
    Apparently there's nothing that Microsoft won't at least attempt to slow down
  • Lame website is lame (Score:5, Informative)

    by Katatsumuri ( 1137173 ) on Sunday October 08, 2017 @05:38PM (#55332547)
    They simply misspelled "Visual Studio". []
  • by JaneTheIgnorantSlut ( 1265300 ) on Sunday October 08, 2017 @05:48PM (#55332581)
    ... Q# ?
  • by FudRucker ( 866063 ) on Sunday October 08, 2017 @05:50PM (#55332587)
    before microsoft even gets their programming language developed to a usable level.

    i can see the techy distros doing it first, Debian ports, Gentoo, maybe Slackware if there is a big enough demand for it, and netBSD would be jumping at the chance too
    • I'm pretty sure Poettering is already working on incorporating a programming language for quantum computers in systemd.

    • IBM is ready for you, have at it: []

      That's free access to a 20 qbit machine via the web.

    • by quax ( 19371 )

      You can't just port classical software to a quantum computer.

      At this time to use these machines you have to understand them on a very low level, i.e. what kind of universal quantum gate sets they can implement.

      That's what a quantum compiler is targeting, yet even those compilers you feed very low level quantum circuit models of what you want to run on the machines. To make this usable for coders, we will need a higher abstraction level than that.

      Before we can have any Open Source software on these machines

  • by gtarthur ( 86809 ) on Sunday October 08, 2017 @05:56PM (#55332615)

    Once again /. falls victim to a reference to a technical article written by a clueless tech writer. The MS announcement clearly states deep integration with Visual Studio, which any developer or even casual technical person would know makes much more sense. However, as another poster pointed out, those of us that care about this kind of stuff already know about it about 3-7 days before it shows up here.

    • that's the least of my concerns. There are no true universal gate quantum computers, having a language for a thing that doesn't exist is silly. it's even open question whether a useful problem could even be expresseed on the real thing anyway, a UGQC might turn out to be mostly useless as tits on a bull.

      • Well actually not so silly. An article on the hundred year computer language provided good insights that recommend it. These insights among others fueled the scientists who built Perl 6, a new advanced language. Or more closer to home, a cousin of mine invented the bar code. He did it in an interesting fashion, by dragging his fingers through sand at the beach and having an epiphany, apparently. The point being that laser scanners did not exist then as far as I know. It is a kind of bootstrapping.
        http://www []

        • invoking the guts from a whale dropped through twin rotors of a sky crane, aka Perl 6, doesn't lend weight to any point you are making. Perl 6 is going straight to the ash can of history without significant use.

          your cousin likely is spewing B.S. unless his name is Normal Woodland or Bernard Silver, who invented barcode in the 1940s. the first protoypes used concentric circles of varying thickness by the same, so much for lines by fingers in the sand.

          don't need lasers to read a barcode, m'boy.

  • Good riddance. Back to Basic!

  • than a Micro$oft proprietary language running on a machine that can't be debugged in real time at unimaginable speeds, and you know it'll be connected to AI shortly afterwards somehow. But you know, they joined the Linux Foundation, have a Linux Subsystem (which is bullshit), W10 is "open source," and are now part of the OSI. Surely they have changed their ways? Nope....But as long as you can game on your PC, you people keep ignoring all that they do like you don't have any other OS or hardware choices. But
    • by Bonker ( 243350 )

      than a Micro$oft proprietary language running on a machine that can't be debugged in real time at unimaginable speeds, and you know it'll be connected to AI shortly afterwards somehow.

      Really, that was all you needed right there. The 'tying yourselves to Google and MS' rant is simply preaching to the choir at this point.

      Srsly, those of us who can get off MS (and Google) products do so when we can. (I've been MS Clear for a while now.) Steam and Minecraft both run on Linux, and pretty much every new PC game d

  • I assume it based on containers.

  • They will name it QUAVA (tm)
  • Well if Microsoft is launching it, it's definitely going to be a huge success for a year (possibly two) before they kill it, leaving untold numbers of suckers, err, I mean "programmers" cursing at being dropped in the dirt once again.

  • As far as I am concerned this "new" language is just a repacking of |Liquid>, which Microsoft tried to make look Open Source by moving it to github, and some journos and analysts [] promptly fell for it, despite the License being right there in the repo [].

    Microsoft invests heavily to own the future of quantum computing. While now paying lip service to Open Source software, they also aggressively seek software patents in this space.

    I have no doubt, that they plan to do the same thing to quantum computing that

    • by quax ( 19371 )

      OK ...

      So pointing out that you have a problem with something that MS is doing and are starting an Open Source company to do something about it, is now considered trolling on /.

      Boy, this place really has gone to shit. Can we now have Jon Katz back pls?

  • I am really looking forward to get a proper feeling about what a quantum-based whatever can do. I guess that the APIs will be identical to the ones in the other .NET languages, perhaps with some restrictions, but delivering pretty much the same; that's why having access to the source code might be required. I also guess that the theoretical advantages of these new approaches could only be enjoyed in quantum computers of very difficult (at least, to me) access.

    I am quite skeptical about all this, but certai
  • i really don't understand the point of this exercise. for most bread-and-butter programming tasks, you can get most or all of the benefit of a (still hypothetical, mind) quantum co-processor with just one function, let's call it quantum_fourier_transform(). just with that, and a few classical reductions which Smart People will probably pre-wrap for you, you can run Shor's algorithm and all that sexy number theory.

    apart from that, there's what? full-blown quantum system simulation (can't really imagine physi

  • Given that a quantum bit can be a 0 and a 1 at the same time:

    dim ij as qbit
      ij = ij;
    while (ij);

  • I'll be it requires you to have Internet Explorer installed.

Some people manage by the book, even though they don't know who wrote the book or even what book.