Visual Studio Online becomes Visual Studio Codespaces


Microsoft has changed the name of  to , 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 . 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 , 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 or Microsoft’s browser-based editor. Improvements include streamlining the self-hosted process and expanding supported scenarios.

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