In an Ask Me Anything (AMA) on Reddit, Microsoft founder Gates said it isn’t clear when it will work or become mainstream, but he does think it will happen in the next decade.
“Microsoft and others are working on quantum computing...There is a chance that within 6-10 years that cloud computing will offer super-computation by using quantum. It could help solve some very important science problems including materials and catalyst design,” Gates said.
As ZDNet explains, “quantum computers use subatomic quantum bits, or qubits, which can be in multiple states at once.”
“This means they can carry out more calculations in parallel and could offer new ways of solving problems that traditional digital computers find very hard to do,” according to the report.
Cloud companies including Alibaba’s Aliyun have invested in quantum computing; last year Alibaba announced that it had co-founded a quantum computing lab with the Chinese Academy of Sciences.