Nearly all computers active at present are classed as traditional computers, that is, their memory is based upon 'bits' which can store information. These 'bits' are limited in the sense that they could only store a 0 or a 1 (binary is the fundamental language for information).
We can buy huge memories for our laptops say 100 gigabytes or even 3 terabytes which could be used as external hard drives. However these are still classical, they are merely many 'bits'. Search engines such as Google and Bing use complex algorithms which sort out website pages into relevancy for an agents search. These mathematical calculations are one of the longest calculations done on a regular basis in the world.
Having a new type of 'bit' could make this information algorithm perform much more quickly and efficiently.
Daniel Lidar, a corresponding author of a research paper in the journal Physical Review Letters (June 4th) has proposed the use of 'qubits' which are memory storage units which can hold a 0 and a 1 at the same time (before being used). This is due to the nature of quantum mechanics, how small (I mean extremely small) particles behave. A particle could be in all possible states until observed, there is a probability function underlying the likelihood of a particle being in a state. This property is known as superposition.
This, researchers say, will enable computing processes to be much faster and it will become faster with even more data (quantum world is odd I know, get used to it). Also the time it takes for a quantum computer program to answer whether the search engine's web page list needs updating would shorten exponentially with increasing data. Amazing possibilities.
Einstein would be impressed... or would he? He never liked quantum mechanics..
Also check out the article on Google's and Microsoft's plans to build knowledge graphs changing the way search engines function.... :) http://newphysicistphi.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/google-and-microsoft-plan-to-change-web.html