Visual Studio Online becomes Visual Studio Codespaces

Microsoft unveils a new name for its cloud-hosted development environments, along with lower-cost instances and ‘bring your own Docker container’ support

Visual Studio Online becomes Visual Studio Codespaces
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Microsoft has changed the name of Visual Studio Online to Visual Studio Codespaces, to bring the name more in line with the idea that the offering is “more than just an ‘editor in a browser,’” the company wrote in a blog post. Microsoft introduced the name change on April 30, along with a new, lower-cost Basic instance type for Codespaces.

The online development environment, which began a public preview phase in November, provides for cloud-hosted development environments that can be accessible from anywhere. The so-called Codespaces can be used for capabilities including prototyping a new feature or performing short-term tasks like reviewing pull requests.

The new Basic instance type is a lower-cost, lower-power Codespace running Linux, two virtual cores, four GB RAM, and 64 GB of SSD storage. Basic instances are available immediately at a rate of 24 cents per hour. The rate falls to 8 cents per hour next week, when Microsoft will reduce prices for all Codespaces instance types. 

Other features recently added to Visual Studio Codespaces include:

  • A capability for bringing in your own Dockerfiles or images, enabling a Codespace to be tailored to exact specifications, either by pointing at an image from a registry such as Docker Hub, or by placing a custom Dockerfile a repository. Developers can connect to these from Codespaces.
  • The ability to change the instance size, providing a lower-powered, lower-cost environment that can be upgraded when needed without losing state and without having to create a new environment. The Basic instance type also supports this functionality.
  • Improvements to the self-hosted environments capability, for registering any machine to Visual Studio Codespaces and connecting to it from either Visual Studio Code or Microsoft’s browser-based editor. Improvements include streamlining the self-hosted process and expanding supported scenarios.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

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