Visual Studio logoSource: Microsoft

What you need to know

  • Visual Studio Live Share now supports text and voice chat in public preview.
  • Visual Studio Codespaces has lower pricing for all instance types.
  • GitHub Actions for Azure are now integrated with Visual Studio Code, Azure CLI, and in the Azure Portal.

Microsoft announced several updates and improvements to Visual Studio today. Multiple new features will help developers communicate and work together to create and implement code. First, Visual Studio Live Share now supports text and voice chat in public preview. Second, Visual Studio Codespaces, which was previously known as Visual Studio Online, has lower pricing for all instance types. Additionally, GitHub Actions for Azure are now integrated with Visual Studio Code, Azure CLI, and in the Azure Portal. Visual Studio Codespaces can now be accessed from Visual Studio Code, Visual Studio (Private Preview), or in a browser-based editor.

Visual Studio Live Share allows developers to collaborate and co-edit code. It can be used to coordinate coding efforts and debug in real time. With the addition of text and voice chat, developers can communicate more efficiently. Visual Studio Live Share now also supports sharing running apps. These new features should help developers work more within a single program rather than having to jump between apps to communicate and work. Developers can retain their personal editor preferences and their own cursor, so they can work together or independently within a shared space.

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Microsoft recently renamed Visual Studio Online to Visual Studio Codespaces. As part of that announcement, Microsoft shared that lower prices are available starting today. The name change occurred to help people understand that Visual Studio Codespaces is more than an "editor in a browser." People can now access Codespaces from more devices through Visual Studio Code, Visual Studio (Private Preview), or from a browser-based editor. Additionally, Codespaces is now available in GitHub in private preview.

Microsoft broke down new pricing for Visual Studio Codespaces in its announcement of the Visual Studio Online name change. Starting today, if you use a Standard Linux instance type (4 cores, 8GB RAM), it will cost you $0.17 per hour. Previously, a Standard Linux instance type costs $0.45 per hour. Premium Linux instance types (8 cores, 16GB RAM) cost $0.34 per hour now compared to their previous rate of $0.87 per hour. Microsoft points out that these prices are approximate, and you can use the Azure pricing calculator to determine how much it will cost. That calculator will be updated by Build 2020, which starts today.

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