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Microsoft launches Dev Boxes

Microsoft describes such development environments as high performance, secure, and coding-ready.

Microsoft has announced a public preview of the Dev Box, a managed service that can be used to create on-demand cloud “workstations” in Azure. Microsoft describes such development environments as high performance, secure, and coding-ready.

Anthony Cangialosi, Group General Manager at Microsoft, said the advantage that the Dev Box provides is that:

Developers can focus on writing code instead of trying to get a working environment where they can write and run code.

Dev Boxes are set up by the organization so that developers can start programming right away. They are preconfigured to use all the tools and features that developers need for their projects and tasks. The goal is to be able to create separate Dev Boxes whenever you need to quickly switch between projects, experiment with a proof of concept, or run a full build in the background while working on the next task.

It works like this: Teams create and maintain Dev Box images with all the tools and dependencies for their developers. You can make Dev Boxes of the right size for different roles in the team – with different amounts of virtual processors or memory, in different Azure regions.

Microsoft says Dev Box supports any development environment, SDK, or tool that runs on Windows. Developers can target any workspace that can be created on Windows, including desktop, mobile, IoT, and web development. The service can also be used to develop cross-platform applications through Windows Subsystem for Linux and Windows Subsystem for Android.

Control is through Azure Active Directory groups, so an IT administrator can grant access to sensitive source code and client data on a per-project basis.

The Microsoft Dev Box is currently available as a preview, and at this stage, organizations will receive the first 15 hours of Dev Box with 8vCPU and 32GB of memory each month for free, as well as the first 365 hours of Dev Box Storage 512GB SSD. The usage fee is then charged based on the time of use.