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A preview of Microsoft's Dev Box is now available for developers via the Azure Portal

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(Image credit: Future)

What you need to know

  • Dev Box, a new cloud computing environment for developers based on the same tech used by Windows 365, was announced earlier this year at Build 2022.
  • Microsoft recently announced that a preview version of Dev Box is now available for the public to test out.
  • Users can access the Dev Box preview through the Azure Portal.

Microsoft took the wraps off of its new cloud-based Dev Box computing environment at Build 2022, and it has now launched a preview version of the service for the public to test out. Developers can use Dev Box to create effectively create cloud-based workstations with enough power to handle any task.

As Senior Editor Zac Bowden explained in his initial announcement post, Dev Box is "built off of the same tech Windows 365 is based upon," meaning it can essentially be used on any PC from anywhere in the world. All users need to do is sign in through the Azure Portal in a browser and get to work.

As stated by Microsoft in the official Dev Box preview announcement (opens in new tab), the environment offers broad support for any Windows IDE or SDK; in fact, any tool that can run on Windows will run in the cloud. Dev Box allows for cross-platform app building, and it can be accessed from pretty much any device or browser as long as you have an internet connection. Virtual environments with up to 32 virtual CPUs and 128GB of RAM are available, though you can drop down to 4 virtual CPUs and 16GB of RAM for less demanding tasks.

Dev boxes are deployed in the nearest region that Azure operates and connect via the Azure Global Network complete with Gigabit connections. From there, IT admins have the ability to give individual access to code and data, helping prevent unsecure handling.

Microsoft points out that users and their organizations will only pay for what they use within the Dev Box environment. As of August 15, a preview version of Dev Box is available to the public with the first 15 hours of an octa-vCPU with 32GB RAM SKU available for free every month. This also comes with 365 free hours of 512GB storage. Users are charged based on how many hours they use the CPUs and storage thereafter.

If you'd like to give Dev Box a shot, just sign into the Azure Portal and do a quick search for "Dev Box." Microsoft's dedicated Dev Box page has a lot more information to check out.

Cale Hunt
Senior Editor, Laptop Reviews

Cale Hunt is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. He focuses mainly on laptop reviews, news, and accessory coverage. He's been reviewing laptops and accessories full time since 2016, with hundreds of reviews published for Windows Central. He is an avid PC gamer and multi-platform user, and spends most of his time either tinkering with or writing about tech.