Back in May 2020, Microsoft made Azure Quantum available in limited preview. The program consists of a full-stack open cloud ecosystem that unites quantum software, solutions, and hardware, enabling people to build solutions that leverage quantum computing to solve various business challenges. More recently, the firm also announced that it would be holding an Azure Quantum Developer Workshop on February 2. Ahead of that, it has now released a public preview for the program.
Microsoft states that the Azure Quantum platform is "now open for business", which essentially means that developers can utilize software and hardware solutions available in the suite to solve their business needs. This will also allow wider collaboration in the Azure Quantum community, which is working on the open source Quantum Development Kit (QDK) with the associated Q# programming language. Microsoft has also offered a set of resources and documentation for users new to the platform.
Furthermore, developers can also utilize the quantum solutions from Microsoft's partners such as Honeywell Quantum Solutions, IonQ, and 1QBit. Microsoft says:
As you start on your quantum journey, you can explore at your own pace, with the peace of mind that your data is secure in the most-trusted public cloud. You pay as you go, and scale when you are ready. You have the flexibility to choose from self-service development or tailored development services with our Enterprise Acceleration Program.
[...] The transition to Public Preview of Azure Quantum is a key milestone for quantum computing and our ecosystem. This continues the momentum we saw last year, which includes selection for the National Quantum Initiative Quantum Research Centers, the addition of new Azure Quantum partners, and hardware advances in scaling control circuitry for qubits.