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Microsoft's quantum computing research could pay off

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If everything goes according to Microsoft's plan, the company will jump past competitors in a new area -- quantum computing.

Microsoft's work in quantum computing research includes a new programming language that enables programmers to build algorithms on a quantum computer that could solve complex problems in hours instead of years. Microsoft plans to integrate that language into Visual Studio, the company's bundle of languages and related tools used to develop applications and services.

Microsoft expects to release two versions of a quantum simulator, one that will run locally and another on Azure. It's unclear if Microsoft plans to sell a commercial quantum computer or just make it available through Azure. But either way, Microsoft's quantum computing research could mean businesses soon have quick answers to intimidating and complex problems.

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