back to article Microsoft: We've made a coding language for a quantum computer that may or may not exist

At the Microsoft Ignite conference today, the expert panel on stage burst into laughter. “This box right over here behind us – nothing! That’s a quantum joke, that’s an excellent joke,” said Microsoft Technical Fellow Michael Freedman as the curtain failed to open to reveal it. It being a quantum joke, the audience in Orlando …

  1. Steve Knox
    Thumb Up

    Microsoft's Quantum OS

    Both vulnerable to malware and in the middle of restarting to install updates at the same time!

  2. AceRimmer1980
    Coat

    And managing a team of developers in said language

    is like herding quantum cats.

    1. Keef

      Re: And managing a team of developers in said language

      The quantum cats are both herded and not herded until the superposition collapses.

      I rest my case, or not.

    2. Allan George Dyer Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: And managing a team of developers in said language

      @AceRimmer1980 - "is like herding quantum cats."

      Which is OK, until HR looks in to check on your staff numbers, and finds many dead.

      1. Korev Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: And managing a team of developers in said language

        They'd need to do a CAT scan to find this out...

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good old Microsoft

    Microsoft had pioneered the concept of 'vaporware'. After all these years nothing has changed.

    1. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Re: Good old Microsoft

      Microsoft had pioneered the concept of 'vaporware'. After all these years nothing has changed.

      They've outdone themselves this time quantum vaporware

      Between talking up software that don't exist to talking up software everyone else wishes didn't exist.

      1. wayward4now
        Linux

        Re: Good old Microsoft

        “Come, let us go. Let us leave this festering [Tartarus]hole. Let us think the unthinkable, let us do the undoable. Let us prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all.” ~Dirk Gently

    2. Ian Joyner

      Re: Good old Microsoft

      Microsoft did not pioneer vapourware they got that from IBM. IBM pre announced their STRETCH computer in order to slow the march of CDC which was doing very well with their machines. A long running anti-trust case against IBM was just dropped overnight by Ronald Regan.

      See Richard DeLamarter's "Big Blue: IBM's Use and Abuse of Power".

  4. julianh72

    Surely the headline should be ...

    "We've made a coding language for a quantum computer that both exists and does not exist"

  5. DerekCurrie Bronze badge
    Go

    "...Raising the hope of fixing climate change by working out how to absorb carbon"

    Answer A: Reforest the Earth and keep it that way.

    Answer B: Stop all pollution of the Earth's oceans, such as carbon dioxide pollution, allowing its natural systems to work properly again. Examples: Revitalization of phytoplankton growth. Renewal of coral reef deposition of calcium carbonate.

    QED

    What's stopping us? Irresponsible, no-conscience BizTards of the world who think only of short term profits, resulting in long term disasters. No quantum computer is going to figure out how to stop stupid.

    1. hplasm Silver badge
      Terminator

      Re: "...Raising the hope of fixing climate change by working out how to absorb carbon"

      "No quantum computer is going to figure out how to stop stupid."

      Skynet?

    2. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: "...Raising the hope of fixing climate change by working out how to absorb carbon"

      No quantum computer is going to figure out how to stop stupid.

      Yes, but think how many they'll sell on the promise of being able to solve the problem. Manufacturing the machines will keep more people in employment, require the mining and refining of ever greater amounts of rare-earth metals, and there'll be a need for greater energy production to super-cool these devices to 30mK. It'll be wonderful for the economy!

      Irresponsible, no-conscience BizTards of the world who think only of short term profits, resulting in long term disasters.

      Oh.

      1. wayward4now
        Mushroom

        Re: "...Raising the hope of fixing climate change by working out how to absorb carbon"

        "Irresponsible, no-conscience BizTards of the world who think only of short term profits, resulting in long term disasters." Maybe they know something we don't, like make profits before the next major volcano blows and covers the world in 10 feet of ash.

  6. Milton Silver badge

    AI

    Can't help but notice that the term "AI" has been degraded to mean "Any slightly unconventional code that our marketurds can slap a label on".

    In much the same way that "cloud" means "A computer somewhere else".

    By rendering language meaningless through hype and lies it is now possible to assert that we've had "cloud" since 1968 and "AI" since 1977.

    Journalists *could" do something useful by challenging marketurds' BS.

    1. herman Silver badge

      Re: AI

      "By rendering language meaningless through hype and lies it is now possible to assert that we've had "cloud" since 1968 and "AI" since 1977." Well, yes, been there, done that. It didn't work back then either. Yes, I also remember the Global Cooling hullabaloo too.

  7. Dan 55 Silver badge

    This box right over here behind us – nothing!

    So the same thing they unveil every year. Windows, Office, Exchange, SQL Server lately Azure, and some nebulous nothing unveiled to great fanfare and then disappears shortly afterwards.

  8. Ralph the Wonder Llama
    Happy

    Bing for Business – don’t laugh

    I'm sorry, Tim, I can't do that.

    LOL

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Bing for Business – don’t laugh

      "What for Business? What's that?"

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Definition

    superposition of one and zero at the same time, enabling the extremely rapid parallel processing of data

    So, how is the second bit of this sentence made possible by the first one?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Definition

      superposition of one and zero at the same time, enabling the extremely rapid parallel processing of data.

      So, how is the second bit of this sentence made possible by the first one?

      Superposition of course... Recursive superposition: you just overlay the two halves and they appear to be as one.

      Do keep up!

  10. Terry 6 Silver badge

    Imagine- the ultimate BSOD

    Having to switch the universe off and on again to make the computer work.

  11. Simon Harris Silver badge
    IT Angle

    "This box right over here behind us"

    That'll be the same box that contains The Internet?

    (The IT Crowd Angle)

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It did eventually make an appearance: a quantum qubit device, typically cooled to 30 millikelvin

    Cool tech...very, very cool

    1. Roj Blake Silver badge

      30 Millikelvin

      That's almost cold enough to make Geordies wear their coats.

  13. breakfast
    Boffin

    New Term

    Quantumware: Software or hardware that manages to both exist ( in research and marketing papers ) and not exist ( in the hands of any actual developers or users ) at the same time.

  14. SVV Silver badge

    Nurse! My sides have split!

    "That’s a quantum joke, that’s an excellent joke,” said Microsoft Technical Fellow Michael Freedman"

    If you have to point out that it's a joke, and modestly mention that it's "excellent" beause nobody has laughed, then you're massively overestimating your talent as a comedian.

    1. Korev Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Nurse! My sides have split!

      I bet that joke went down like a charm

      1. Alister Silver badge

        Re: Nurse! My sides have split!

        I bet that joke went down like a charm

        Nah, it was too strange...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nurse! My sides have split!

      point out that it's a joke, and modestly mention that it's "excellent"

      It's a quantum joke - it is both excellent and rubbish at the same time. Unfortunately, when it was observed, it was rubbish

    3. wayward4now
      Devil

      Re: Nurse! My sides have split!

      "That’s a quantum joke, that’s an excellent joke,” said Microsoft Technical Fellow Michael Freedman" Except that might not have been Michael Freedman and it was Wonko the Sane instead.

  15. Roo Stercogburn

    Oh boy...

  16. Flakk Silver badge
    Trollface

    Q# Tech Support Call

    "Has your computer crashed or not?"

    "Maybe."

    "Have your checked?"

    "I'm not that brave."

    1. Simon Harris Silver badge

      Re: Q# Tech Support Call

      "Have you tried turning it off and on...

      ... at the same time?"

  17. BongoJoe

    How long before...

    ...Microsoft drop this language/technology?

  18. djrmarshall

    quantum coding

    i think i have figured out how to code a quantum computer. we kniw that we need to use the fundemental building blocks . like our computers today are 1 and 0 . that will still be the same but will need to be all dimensions since a dot and a line creates everything that is and will be . but now knowing that a particle can appear and dissapear at will . we think we will not know where it is going or will wind up . but what happens if we give it a specific path to appear and reapear . the particle being bound to our destination or point of interest ,, compile the number 1 in 3 dimensions since we need more points equalling more information . lets say a particale of the number 1 can only go back and forwards thats its path but with more variable at the end of each line . so it can now intersect with the most valuable information while corrisponding to similar infromation that can lead to the 1 main information point

    and the numer 0 as the bounds like those lines can be used by the particle to take a shortcut across the intersecting plains . guide lines

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