Microsoft's Quantum Development Kit comes to Mac and Linux

Microsoft today announced a number of enhancements to its Quantum Development Kit (QDK), including support for new platforms. The QDK first launched in December for Windows, but Microsoft is now launching it for developers on Mac and Linux. Additionally, Microsoft has open-sourced its quantum development libraries and samples, and greatly improved simulator performance, and more.

Support for Mac and Linux was the most requested feature from developers, Microsoft says. With its launch, developers on those platforms will be able to build applications using Microsoft's Q# language and test them in the quantum simulator.

In terms of QDK updates, Microsoft has added interoperability with the Python programming language. Developers can now take advantage existing libraries of Python code while writing in Q#. "Available as a preview on Windows today, Python interoperability allows Q# code to call Python routines directly, and vice-versa," Microsoft says. The company has also open-sourced its quantum development libraries and samples in an effort to let developers re-use that code in their own applications.

Lastly, Microsoft says it has improved performance of the quantum simulator by four-to-five times, allowing developers to test their code much more quickly.

Microsoft's QDK launched in December as a way for developers to get a jump on learning to code for quantum computers before the hardware is available. The preview is a portion of Microsoft' long-term vision for quantum computing, which has the potential to bring dramatic changes to nearly every industry due to its theoretical speed. For example, it's expected that quantum computers could perform incredibly fast calculations for things that would take years, decades, or centuries to perform on the most advanced computers we have today.

If you're a developer interested in checking out these changes, you can grab the latest version of the QDK at Microsoft now. And for more, check out a demonstration with the latest features in the video below.