Satya Nadella: How Microsoft Is Preparing For Quantum And Edge Computing

By Amit Chowdhry • Dec 7, 2019
  • During Microsoft’s 2019 Annual Shareholders meeting, Satya Nadella was asked how the company was preparing for quantum and edge computing. Here’s what he said.

This past week, Microsoft hosted its 2019 Annual Shareholders meeting. This is the first time that it was done virtually. And during a Q&A session at the Microsoft 2019 Annual Shareholders Meeting, CEO Satya Nadella was asked about how Microsoft is preparing for quantum and edge computing.

Nadella said he would answer the edge computing portion first by saying that Azure was built with an architectural principle that it would have a distributed computing fabric that includes the cloud and the edge. And that is why Microsoft talks about the paradigm around an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge.

On the cloud side, Microsoft has over 54 data center regions (more than any other public cloud provider) to bring the compute capacity to areas that need it. And then it is extended to the edge.

“So with Azure Sphere, every microcontroller can be a compute node of Azure. And with Azure Connect, you can now have cameras that are smart with compute as well,” said Nadella. “And now we have taken one more step with Azure Arc, which brings a control play across all of the clouds and all of the edge infrastructure that is available.”

In terms of quantum computing, Nadella highlighted the work that the company has done with Azure Quantum and Q#.

“Around quantum again, we are taking the same approach… which Microsoft always brings to any technology layer… which is a platform approach. For example, we just announced Azure Quantum where we are now going to have a variety of hardware whether it is ion trap or superconducting hardware from us and others. And then on top of that, we are building the software toolchain,” added Nadella.

“In fact, we are excited about how Q# is being used already on classical computers to do quantum-inspired work. In fact, (Case Western Reserve University) was able to do some of the things that they were never able to do before using quantum-inspired algorithms on top of classical computers so I think there’s a lot of benefit to the approach we are taking and we are really excited about the future.”