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Microsoft Azure Chief Jason Zander Talks Intelligent Cloud And Edge, Drones, HoloLens And Quantum Computing

‘What we’re working on at Microsoft is more analogous to like the transistor that became our modern computer environment,’ Microsoft Azure chief Jason Zander says, referring to his team’s quantum computing efforts. ‘I’m pretty sure I have a couple of future Nobel Prize winners on the team.’

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Zander Got A Very Early Start in Programming  

Zander said he was 10 years old when he started programming using the original Apple computers, in the pre-Macintosh days.

“The first (computer) I saved up for and bought myself was something called a Commodore VIC-20, which I could save lawnmower money for and actually have a computer that I could program,” Zander said. “I mowed a lot of lawns, but that’s what I bought instead of a 10-speed (bike).”

Zander’s father is a professional watchmaker -- one of the best, according to his son. And Zander himself liked the problem-solving aspects of taking apart clocks, and he finds similarities with software development.

“I’m the one who would take apart the grandfather clocks and the cuckoo clocks and that kind of stuff and fix them,” Zander said. “There’s just something kind of nice about a mechanical piece of work (that) I could take apart. And I am really super excited I own (Microsoft’s) IoT now and software (teams), so I get to do essentially a lot of the same kind of stuff, just another space.”

“It turns out software is very similar to a clock,” he said. “There’s things that drive it, there’s gears that move, and I found that pretty appealing actually.”

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