Visual Studio Codespaces is moving to GitHub

Microsoft’s Visual Studio Codespaces, which provide cloud-hosted development environments on Microsoft Azure, will be incorporated into GitHub Codespaces, which provide hosted Visual Studio Code environments on GitHub. The current Azure-based offering will be retired in February 2021.

Microsoft said the service is moving because, during a preview stage, the company found that transitioning from a repository to a codespace was the most-criticized part of the workflow. The vast majority of users preferred an integrated, native, one-click experience. GitHub being the home of 50 million developers, Microsoft decided it made sense to partner with GitHub to address the issue. 

GitHub Codespaces is still in a limited public beta; developers can sign up here. When developers connect to a GitHub Codespace through a portal or the Visual Studio Code editor, they will be prompted to submit add a GitHub account to the beta. Visual Studio Codespaces users will receive an email requesting their preferred GitHub account.

While GitHub Codespaces provides an optimized experience for GitHub repos, developers still can use Git repos hosted elsewhere, such as on Azure or Bitbucket, by taking a few additional configuration steps. Also, the private preview of Windows-based Codespaces support in Visual Studio 2019 will move to GitHub.

Microsoft has provided an FAQ about the consolidation. The compay set the following timeline for plan:

  • September 4, 2020: Current users begin moving to the GitHub private beta.
  • November 20, 2020: Creation of new Visual Studio Codespaces will no longer be allowed, but existing Visual Studio Codespaces still can be used.
  • February 17, 2021: The Visual Studio Codespaces portal will be retired.

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