Microsoft today announced that Azure Quantum is its cloud-based platform for using Honeywell Quantum Solutions, IonQ, 1QBit, and other partners’ quantum hardware and software tools.
Last May, Azure Quantum entered a limited preview. At the time, it was only open to a few select Microsoft partners and customers, but starting today, anyone interested in quantum computing can start to try the service.
The service provides a small free allowance for you to get started. After that, using it can quickly become expensive. You can find the complete price chart here, but to try the basics with the system, you need to pay $10 per hour of calculation.
Quantum computing is still in its early stages, so it needs to be built on a specific platform. Whether it is Microsoft or competitors such as IBM and Rigetti, it means buying a specific toolset. For Microsoft, this is the open-source quantum development kit and its Q# language, as well as the recently announced LLVM-based hardware-independent quantum intermediate representation (QIR) intermediate language.
Krysta Svore, general manager of Microsoft Quantum, wrote: “The transition to the public preview of Azure Quantum is a key milestone for quantum computing and our ecosystem, which continues the momentum we saw last year, including being selected as the Quantum Research Center of the National Quantum Program. The addition of new Azure Quantum partners and hardware advancements in the quantum control circuit of qubits.”
Microsoft’s own efforts to make quantum computers have not yet produced a qubit, but the company has made great strides in other areas. However, for the time being, Microsoft is betting on partnerships with other players in the field to power the platform.
This also led the company to claim that it provides “the world’s first full-stack public cloud ecosystem for quantum solutions.”