Microsoft put PCs in the cloud with Windows 365 last year, and now, it wants to entice developers to use a cloud-powered developer workstation. Microsoft Dev Box is a new cloud service that includes apps and services designed for developers to quickly access a preconfigured developer workstation.
Microsoft Dev Box is built on top of the foundations of Windows 365, so it’s easy to spin up a new virtual machine and get working. That means Microsoft Dev Box will work on any modern browser, and the machines support any integrated development environment (IDE), software development kit (SDK), or tools that run on top of Windows.
Microsoft is pitching this at a variety of developers who might work on projects that have software conflicts and dependencies that make maintaining a developer workstation more of a headache. The company says its Dev Boxes are well-suited for desktop, mobile, IoT, and gaming developers, and cross-platform apps can be built using the Windows Subsystem for Linux.
“With Microsoft Dev Box, dev teams create and maintain Dev Box images with all the tools and dependencies their devs need to build and run their applications,” says Anthony Cangialosi, principal group PM at Microsoft. “Teams can include their application source code and nightly built binaries, enabling devs to immediately start running and understanding the code without having to wait for long re-builds.”
Microsoft has made a portal that allows developers to create and delete Dev Boxes and even parallelize tasks across multiple machines. Developers are then free to maintain Dev Boxes for legacy apps or older versions of their apps to recreate a customer environment. Dev Boxes can be deployed in local Azure regions worldwide with gigabit connections and even the ability to use start and stop schedules to automatically hibernate machines when devs log off for the day.
Since Microsoft Dev Box integrates into Windows 365, IT admins can manage Dev Boxes with Intune and Microsoft Endpoint Manager. Microsoft Dev Box kicks off in private preview mode today, and a public preview will be available “in the next few months.” Microsoft is accepting signups for Microsoft Dev Box over at its developer site.