Microsoft Dev Box workstations on Azure go GA

Microsoft Dev Box, an Azure-hosted cloud service that provides “ready-to-code” workstations for software developers, is now generally available, the company annunced.

Accessible from the Azure website, the Dev Box service offers developers project-specific dev boxes that are preconfigured and centrally managed. Recent additions to Dev Box include Visual Studio IDE integration and configuration-as-code customization, which Microsoft said make the service enterprise-ready. More than 10,000 Microsoft developers already are using the service, which was unveiled in a public preview in August 2022.

Most modern devices with an internet connection can access dev boxes, including Windows PCs, Macs, and iOS and Android devices. Developers can access Dev Boxes through the Microsoft Remote Desktop app or directly within an HTML5-capable browser. But certain features may require specific hardware.

Microsoft initially planned on charging for Dev Boxes based purely on a consumption model, where customers pay only when a Dev Box is running. But this model left a lot of variability for administrators who wanted to pay a standardized monthly cost for full-time usage, Microsoft said. Microsoft thus introduced a monthly price for full-time Dev Box usage while keeping consumption-based, pay-as-you-go pricing that charges up to a monthly price gap.

Organizations can manage access and use of Dev Boxes through Windows 365 and Microsoft Intune. Dev Box is a follow-up to Microsoft’s Azure DevTest Labs, a service introduced in 2016 for creating templatized virtual machines for development and testing use cases. Dev Box also follows Visual Studio Codespaces, now known as GitHub Codespaces, which has provided preconfigured, container-based and Linux-based development environments spun up from the Visual Studio Code editor.

Microsoft welcomes feedback from users of Dev Box.

Copyright © 2023 IDG Communications, Inc.

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