**(CNET)** Microsoft has been working on a qubit technology called a topological qubit that it expects will deliver benefits from quantum computing technology that today are mostly just a promise. After spending five years figuring out the complicated hardware of topological qubits, the company is almost ready to put them to use, said Krysta Svore, general manager of Microsoft’s quantum computing software work.

One of the basic quantum computing problems is that qubits are easily perturbed. That’s why the heart of a quantum computer is housed in a refrigerated container the size of a 55-gallon drum.

Even with that isolation, though, individual qubits today only can perform useful work for a fraction of a second. To compensate, quantum computer designers plan technology called error correction that yokes many qubits together into a single effective qubit, called a logical qubit. The key advantage of Microsoft’s topological qubit is that fewer physical qubits are needed to make one logical qubit, Krysta Svore, general manager of Microsoft’s quantum computing software work says