back to article Microsoft's Azure Quantum hits preview: Not so much quantum computing as it is quantum-inspired computing

The hype-o-meter has gone up a notch with the arrival of Azure Quantum in Public Preview. Microsoft has bet big on the forever-coming-next-year technology, quantum computing. It unveiled a new language, Q#, back in 2017 and its Quantum Development Kit (QDK) emerged the same year. The QDK was ported to Linux and macOS in 2018 …

  1. Howard Sway

    It unveiled a new language, Q#

    Great timing, branding everything quantum with the letter Q.

    Will they have t-shirts and baseball caps to promote the new language? I can imagine the fun that might cause as hordes of people wearing them arrive at a conference centre.................

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: It unveiled a new language, Q#

      Q - like from STNG ?

  2. ST Silver badge
    Devil

    Here comes the QBullshit QTsunami ...

    Also: can it do OLE and VBA Excel Macros?

    Or is it QOLE and QVBA now?

    1. Bitsminer Bronze badge

      Re: Here comes the QBullshit QTsunami ...

      Can it run Qrysis?

  3. bombastic bob Silver badge
    Boffin

    The actual benefits of quantum computing...

    Has anyone done ANY meaningful benchmarks?

    I did some study on entanglement a while back and it seems that what you need is hardware that can produce pairs of electrons or photons, as a single Qbit, a particle pair that is entangled (the 'opposite ends of the superconductor' method might be the best one yet) , and then somehow you leverage this entanglement to do computing tasks for as long as the Qbit can remain stable (which, apparently, is NOT very long).

    But if you use simulation software to create a simulated QBit, how is this ANY better than just doing normal maths??

    Nothing I have read so far EVER goes into specifics on how to make this work. Maybe it's time to grab that QDK and see how it can actually be used. I'm sure SOMEONE must have SOME kind of sample code out there, even if it's only doing some mundane chaos calculation like "sun spots".

    A practical example is needed...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Circular....

      Here's our quantum computer doing an annealing problem using our Quantum algo.... to prove how fast it is, we compare it to a digital computer running a simulation of our Quantum algo on our quantum hardware....

      See? So much faster! We even coined a term for it "Quantum supremacy!"

      But erm, say the optimization experts... that's a crappy brute force algo, if you use this digital optimizer it gets a faster solution than your Quantum computer and sometimes find more optimal solutions. Hence your optimizer isn't quantum, it isn't going through every possible state. What you have there is a noisy circuit that settles to a local minimum, like an analogue computer circa 1950s Feyman era.

      Move on several decades, and the only change is the simulation has been moved into the cloud.

      You want a problem to run in the cloud version to benchmark and compare it to the hardware one? It sounds like the "Quantum Supremacy" marketing rehash.

    2. Paul Shirley

      Re: The actual benefits of quantum computing...

      It's useful to train people for new tech before it becomes widely available. Even if we might be looking at a lifetime early for this one.

      Always have to wonder what throwing the same amount of cash at classical algorithm development might achieve, instead of mostly relying on relatively few academics fighting to churn out enough results to stay funded at all.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The actual benefits of quantum computing...

        Training people for what exactly? The Qbits are not going through every possible state, they are not quantum.

        If all you have is a noisy system then you just have an analogue computer. 1950's computers of Physicist Feyman times, when computers were analogue circuits used to solve specific problems.

        Feyman hypothesized a quantum computer that would be in every state, because Schrodingers model defined it that way. In Schrodinger's model: you measure the electrons position and by doing that you define its position. As time passes, its position becomes more and more indistinct, its not moving, rather it's just everywhere and nowhere according to the probability model defined by Schrodinger.

        So Feyman's hypothetical quantum computer will find a perfect solution because it goes through every possible state. BUT THIS IS NOT HAPPENING, it is not going through all possible states because your Quantum Computer is not finding the perfect optimal solution each time.

        This is the [no] path in physics. The electron isn't moving, its just everywhere and nowhere.

        Down the [yes] path, electric force must also be an oscillating force (because if your particles are moving then so is the electrons in a detector), so what you measure is the net effect between an oscillating electric force and the particle oscillating away.

        Which makes the Quantum Computer a noisy detector.

        The [yes] path, matter at subatomic level *is* in motion.

        No more 'particles travelling backwards in time', no more universal 'speed of light' constant, a simple understanding of what mass is and how it converts to energy..... why the speed of light appears to be a constant when you measure it, the mechanism by which light travels over space, even why there are 3 dimensions, its right there down that [yes] path.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Physics is at a branch point

    Seems to me that physics is at a branch point.

    At the subatomic level, is stuff constantly in motion? Yes or No?

    Quantum Computing, being down the "no" branch.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Quick partnership after the Majorana particle thing fell through?

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-56328980

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