Quantum computers make use of the properties of quantum mechanical (as opposed to classical) systems to solve certain problems much more efficiently than a classical computer can.

For example, using a quantum computer, large numbers could in principle be factored into primes using Shor's algorithm in polynomial time, versus near-exponential time for classical computers; this latter inefficiency underlies the security of many encryption schemes.

A prototypical quantum computer is composed of N "qubits," or quantum mechanical bits. Keeping these qubits operating as a closed system that retains its quantum character (without "decohering" via interactions with the environment) is a difficult challenge for more than a handful of qubits.

However, there have been a series of claims by D-wave systems that it had constructed quantum computers of a different type with *thousands* of qubits.
These machines cannot enact generic quantum compuing algorithms like Shor's. However they are claimed to be dramatically faster at certain optimization problems.

There has been widespread skepticism towards D-wave's claims, with some asserting that D-wave's system does not use quantum mechanics at all, and others arguing that even if it does, that this provides no real speedup relative to classical computers.

Nonetheless, Google has purchased D-wave systems for testing, and Google, NASA and others recently signed a multi-year agreement to test the systems.

On November 11, a D-wave board member has announced that there will be a "watershed announcement" at Google on Dec. 8 about quantum computing. Will this occur, and be a major change or breakthrough in computing or quantum computing?

The question resolves as "true" if either the New York Times or Washington Post carries a story based on Google's Announcement on the front page prior to December 15, 2015.