(CNN.com) Until recently, access to quantum computing has been largely limited to researchers in specialized labs. Now, IBM (IBM), Microsoft (MSFT) and Amazon (AMZN) are working to provide broader access to the technology by implementing quantum computing as a service in the cloud.
Access to quantum computing over the cloud is giving companies the chance to explore potential business applications. Such services also indicate how people are likely to use quantum computers for years to come: in the cloud and in conjunction with traditional computers. The quantum cloud services will look something like this: Cloud providers will have remote data centers with quantum computers, just as they do with regular computers. Users will tap into them from their personal computers and either write their own software, or use existing software to harness the computing power without actually needing to understand how it works.
Microsoft in November announced that it would start providing access to quantum computers in its Azure cloud for select customers. A month later, Amazon Web Services announced a similar service. IBM has offered quantum computing access in its cloud since 2016, and last week announced that 100 companies now use it to experiment with quantum computing,