Microsoft Ignite’s Biggest Surprise: Quantum Computing – Barron’s

KeyBanc’s Brent Bracelin late Monday related some of the more surprising things he heard during the first day of Microsoft’s (MSFT) “Ignite” conference in Orlando, Florida, where CEO Satya Nadella and others are talking about topics such as artificial intelligence and machine learning.

The most surprising thing, writes Bracelin, who has an Overweight rating on Microsoft shares, and an $82 price target, was the discussion of quantum computing.

Quantum was one of several high-level themes discussed by Nadella, writes Bracelin, after “mixed reality” (presumably the Microsoft “HoloLens” goggles), and “A.I.-first” applications and their integration with LinkedIn.

The most unexpected part of the Microsoft Ignite keynote was the panel discussion on Quantum Computing and the potential role for Microsoft to empower this next revolution in computing with a new programming language and qubit simulator that runs on Azure later this year. While Quantum Computing efforts are likely to be immaterial to the forecast over the next three-to-five years, the amount of airtime that Quantum Computing received at the opening keynote at Ignite showcases the longer-term aspirations for Microsoft to continue pushing the envelope of technology innovation, with an emphasis on mixed reality, AI, and quantum computing.

Microsoft shares today closed down $1.15, or 1.6%, at $73.26.


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