why is Microsoft making big investments in quantum computing the short answer is quantum computing will change everything some problems are practically impossible for today's computers to solve since they would require tens of billions of years of classical computing time yet those same problems could be solved in hours with a quantum computer of sufficient scale and the results could transform our world for example quantum computing would enable researchers to simulate and develop new catalysts and materials help improve medicines invent new industrial processes accelerate the development of artificial intelligence even answer fundamental questions about the origins of our universe traditional computers the kind we all use every day represent information in the form of bits simple ones and zeros quantum computers store information in a different way using quantum bits or qubits for short qubits exhibit the unique behaviors of the tiniest objects in the universe quantum mechanics allows qubits to store much more complex information the traditional bits so that each qubit added to the computer doubles its processing power an exponential game not possible with traditional computing the challenge is that the qubits created so far have proven extremely hard to scale and small disturbances can throw off the whole operation so building a computer with today's qubits is like building a tall narrow Tower with blocks the more you add the less stable it becomes seeing these limitations Microsoft believes the most promising way to achieve scale is to build a more stable qubit called a topological qubit other cubits store information and volatile states that can be lost in an instant like a painting made of sand topological qubits store information in a more stable form like the knot and string whatever happens to the string the knot remains Microsoft's approach will allow us to scale up at a much higher rate to build a topological qubit we must first master the ability to manipulate a qubit based on a fundamentally different branch of physics once achieved the quicker we can reach our ultimate goal a quantum computer large and stable enough to solve our most challenging problems to prepare for that moment Microsoft is also making parallel advances on all the other necessary disciplines to build it around the world our quantum team is coordinating the efforts of experts in physics mathematics cryogenics programming computer science and other fields so that we can achieve more rapid innovation cycles and reach the promise of a new future faster by building the scalable quantum computer Microsoft will bring revolutionary advances to empower every person in every organization on the planet to achieve more you

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