Also, why is Microsoft placing such an emphasis on topological qubits when most other companies seem to be focusing on other qubit technologies?

I know topological qubits could handle noise far better than other systems, so they are appealing, but they are also new and seemingly only theoretical so far.

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    $\begingroup$ A very closely related question is: How much of the topological quantum computing technology has been patented by MS. Obviously, nobody else can do it if it is patented $\endgroup$ – rrtucci Jul 29 '18 at 0:52

Microsoft is the only company that is trying to build a topological quantum computer. You mention that topological qubits handle noise far better than other systems, but they are also theoretical. That's the reason Microsoft is applying a topological approach. It's high-risk, high-reward. If Microsoft manages to realize a topological qubit, scaling up a computer made of topological qubits will be easier than competing approaches because a topological quantum computer would use less resources to perform quantum error correction compared to other implementations.

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  • $\begingroup$ With the downside of POSSIBLY getting laughed at in 20 years for dumping millions into something that is absolutely not possible. [As well as having wasted those millions] $\endgroup$ – Hobbamok Nov 8 '18 at 10:57

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