GitHub Copilot chat for Visual Studio 2022

Mark Wilson-Thomas

GitHub Copilot has become a trusted AI-assisted pair programmer helping to auto-complete comments and code more productively. That’s just the beginning though! We’ve been working to evolve Copilot to move beyond code completion and provide enhanced AI assistance that you can access throughout your development lifecycle, whatever task you happen to be doing at the time.

Copilot chat in Visual Studio

We’re bringing fully integrated AI-powered Copilot chat experiences to Visual Studio. This is no ordinary chat! With tight integration in Visual Studio, it understands what you’re working on. That means it can quickly help you get in-depth analysis and explanations of how a code block works, generate unit tests, and even find and get proposed fixes to bugs, or explain exceptions. Check out the video below to see what we mean. And this is just the start.  Watch out for more AI assistance across your whole lifecycle as we continue to develop Copilot. Already excited? Sign up for the private preview below.

With GitHub Copilot chat, if you find yourself needing more information, you can ask it to explain the code you’re working on. When you hit an error, ask Copilot to help fix it and generate unit tests. If an exception gets thrown, ask Copilot to help you figure out possible causes and even suggest fixes. By gathering the right data from Visual Studio, Copilot grasps your intent and helps you form exactly the right question to get useful answers. Using GitHub Copilot with Visual Studio gives you more time for creativity by spending less time on boilerplate manual tasks and diagnosis.

We’ll be sharing GitHub Copilot Chat for Visual Studio with a private preview soon – just sign up to be wait-listed.

Learn more and share your feedback

There’s a whole set of new ways Copilot will be able to help you with your development work, from enhancing pull requests to personalized documentation and even a natural language way to run your CLI. Please check out Thomas Dohmke’s GitHub blog post to learn more.

We’re excited to see where this next wave of AI-assisted productivity takes you as you create great software, and we’d love to hear your feedback on the GitHub Copilot Community forum.

40 comments

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  • Michael Taylor 6

    My understanding is that GitHub Copilot is only for Enterprise edition of VS and/or it costs money. You should probably note that in the article (or maybe I missed that).

    Personally I have no interest in this feature. CodeLens is cool and IntelliCode is useful, sometimes, but I have no need or interest in AI in the IDE. Please ensure it is an optional feature that doesn’t waste space on my installation nor is enabled by default. VS already takes up too much memory, spawns too many extra processes and is a resource hog. I don’t want AI stuff that I didn’t ask for nor want adding to that. VS Code is starting to look more and more appealing these days.

    • Mark Wilson-ThomasMicrosoft employee 4

      Hi Michael

      You can find more details about the current shipping version of Copilot here. It works in all versions of Visual Studio 2022, but note that it is an optional extension, and not installed by default.

      If you have specific issues with any of our existing Visual Studio features, we would love to hear a report so we can look into them further.

      Thanks!
      Mark

      • Evgeny Kurbatov 0

        Hi Mark,
        Could you please comment the Michael’s theory that “Copilot is only for Enterprise edition of VS and/or it costs money“?

        Thank you.
        Evgeny.

        • Mark Wilson-ThomasMicrosoft employee 0

          Hi Evgeny

          GitHub Copilot (both the current released edition which provides grey-text completions, and the chat preview that is the subject of this blog) will run fine on any edition of Visual Studio 2022 – community, pro or enterprise.

          Here’s some information on current Copilot pricing. GitHub Copilot is free to use for verified students, teachers, and maintainers of popular open source projects.

          See the FAQ on Copilot X for comments on pricing.

          I hope that helps

          Regards
          Mark

  • Mystery Man 0

    It’s… scary.

    And on a related note, there seems to be a bug in your blog’s comment moderation code. (Edit: I wonder if we could ask Copilot to fix it… Could be a very interesting show of its real-world performance.)

    • Mark Wilson-ThomasMicrosoft employee 5

      While it’s impressive to see what AI models can do, I hope you’ll come to see it as a pair-programmer or assistant rather than a threat. More of a partner to your creative programming work, making it easier for you to focus on the problem you’re trying to solve without being slowed down by the more tedious aspects.

      And thanks for the bug report 🙂

      Cheers
      Mark

      • Mystery Man 1

        I hope you’ll come to see it as a pair-programmer or assistant rather than a threat.

        I don’t see Co-Pilot as a threat. In a utopian world, I’d welcome its arrival. But there is a threat.

        Rest assured, I have to master it.

  • J. Kramer 6

    This is what I was waiting for, a chat function in Visual Studio for GitHub Copilot. I am now a subscriber of GitHub Copilot (for a year) and I am on the waiting list. This is so cool! I’m already using ChatGPT as my personal (and pretty smart) code assistant (free plan), but with this GitHub/Visual Studio addition I instantly subscribed to GitHib Copilot. If you know what you’re doing, understand the (code) answers the AI gives you, this saves you so much time. And I’m learning so much more in less time than before. I’m 59 – I’ve never seen a more interesting tech than this.

    • Mark Wilson-ThomasMicrosoft employee 6

      Thanks! I’m glad you like it and it’s accelerating your learning too! If there are particular scenarios you feel like you’d benefit most from intelligent help from Copilot in your day to day programming activities, please do let me know!

      Mark

      • J. Kramer 6

        I’m really looking forward to Copilot Chat because it will then have access to the context of what I’m programming or trying to solve. The Chat option is really important to me for a couple of reasons:

        1) You’ll get an instant answer
        2) You can ask ‘stupid’ questions, even the same multiple times
        3) You’re distracting nobody
        4) It’s 24/7 available
        5) It never gets tired
        6) ‘Imposter Syndrome’ – What’s that? 😉

        To me 1-6 are really important points. It gives me so much freedom as a developer, and I’m so grateful for this service. What I’ve experienced so far with ChatGPT 3.5 is abso-freaking-lutely amazing. Sure it has its flaws, but there’s GPT-4 now and even with its flaws, if you understand the answers it gives you, you can work with the AI to solve the problem.

        The difference between the AI and sites for devs which help you with problems is big, I’m loving the AI experience so much more. I can ask any question I want, anytime and I’ll always get a to-the-point and serious response without emotion. This is life changing.

        The future? I’m still looking forward to it. I’m not scared. I’ll adapt. You can’t un-invent it and change is good. Always. IMHO.

        In my life I was 2 times as excited as I am now. The first time was when I programmed “Hello World” in BASIC on a TRS-80 from my uncle. Second time was when Windows 95 launched. And now we have GPT-4 / Copilot X – It’s an amazing time to be alive

        • Mark Wilson-ThomasMicrosoft employee 5

          Thanks a lot for sharing your insights – I share your excitement – amazing time to be alive!

  • Eriq VanBibber 0

    Will this support Visual Basic?
    Rust?
    Is there a list of supported languages?

    • Mark Wilson-ThomasMicrosoft employee 3

      Hi Eriq

      Right now the general features of the chat (ability to invoke from your code with context etc, start a chat) will work for any VS language.

      However some features will at least initially work only for C#, for instance you will have noticed we infer selection for questions like “what does this class do” – however in that case other language users will be able to mitigate easily for that by making a selection in their code explicitly, then asking the question.

      Thanks
      Mark

  • Andrew Murgola 4

    I can’t wait to potentially get access. I’m honestly already using chatgpt 4 to do… pretty much everything that is being offered here but with a lot more steps.

    On the wait list, and now I impatiently wait to play (or be productive, you choose which word works best).

    • Mark Wilson-ThomasMicrosoft employee 3

      Glad to hear you are excited and waitlisted.

      We’re working hard to get this ready for folks to have access; watch this space…

      Mark

      • Andrew Murgola 0

        Oh, I am watching. Or have a tool watching for me…

        🙂

  • Maxime CaronMicrosoft employee 0

    Any suggestion on how Microsoft employee can use this feature at work?

    • Mark Wilson-ThomasMicrosoft employee 1

      Drop me an email Maxime.

  • Neil MacMullen 2

    I’m massively impressed by the ability to churn out readable and naturalistic english statements but distinctly underwhelmed by the level of analysis going on here. This reminds me of interviewing beginner-level developers. When asking them to review code you often get a line by line description (sometimes surprisingly articulate!) but without any real depth or understanding of purpose and context.
    Perhaps it’s just that you’ve used the most basic kind of CRUD example and it would be more insightful with other code (the whole point is for it to tell me things I can’t immediately see by skimming the code , right?)

    The most valuable aspect of the demo was at the end where co-pilot suggested reasons why the exception might have been generated (in this case incorrect sequencing of operations). Acting as an oracle for this kind of “non-obvious” and often undocumented knowledge does strike me as being valuable since it saves me from having to “reverse engineer” framework code to think of ways the error condition could have occurred.

    • Mark Wilson-ThomasMicrosoft employee 2

      Thanks for your observations Neil.

      Sometimes seeing a basic NL description can help trigger good thinking processes even when the insight could come from a code-skim-read – just re-phrasing can help get an understanding more quickly. We’re also finding that Copilot chat for Visual Studio can help with spotting issues in the code that can easily be missed when scanning in a hurry, and when asked more complex questions with the right context (such as the exception case you called out) it can sometimes produce non-obvious observations too.

      We’ll continue to seek out places like exception breaks where folks need deeper insights and where we can automatically extract useful context to form really good “questions” to Copilot – that contextual data can enable deeper answers. We would love to hear of places you commonly find yourself “stuck” and in need of inspiration and information.

      Thanks
      Mark

      • Neil MacMullen 2

        I think exceptions and error codes are the obvious value for me. Being able to ask “why has this (library) code thrown this kind of exception” or “what might be happening on the server to result in this HTTP error code” tend to be the places where as a human I have most difficulty due to lack of visibility/familiarity whereas CoPilot could presumably base its answers on direct knowledge of the code.

        Another interesting area to explore would be in providing intellisense hinting in a dynamic fashion. Of course right now we’re all used to writing xml-doc comments (in C-sharp) to get info. Frankly, many descriptions are boilerplate enough that I don’t bother describing them but if we could just configure VS to automatically generate intellisense hints for uncommented methods that would be pretty cool. Note that I’m not talking about generating the xml comments – instead I think you could bypass that step and inject the information directly into intellisense database.

  • Arben Myrtaj 2

    When can we expect this to go live for everyone that wants it?

    • Mark Wilson-ThomasMicrosoft employee 1

      Hi Arben – thanks a ton for your interest.

      We don’t yet have a release date to announce, but please do sign up for the private preview if you’re interested to try it.

      Thanks
      Mark

  • Gondar Tutorials 1

    From what i understand, github copilot X will have chat and all other features? Everything will be under one ?And Do you know the approximate release date?

    • Mark Wilson-ThomasMicrosoft employee 1

      Take a look at the feature preview page to learn more about Copilot X.

      In terms of timeline, as you’ll see on that page we don’t yet have any release date to announce.

      Thanks
      Mark

  • Justin Hinh 0

    I was just recently laid off and I’ve been learning how to code via ChatGPT. It’s annoying have to jump between VS and ChatGPT so I’m excited to get access to this!

    • Mark Wilson-ThomasMicrosoft employee 1

      We hope you find it helpful – thanks for the kind comment and good luck in your code-learning journey.

      Mark

  • Cosmin Ivan 1

    Looks very cool!
    Can you please also support direct voice input instead of only typing?
    Thanks!

    • Mark Wilson-ThomasMicrosoft employee 1

      Hi Cosmin Ivan!

      Thanks for bringing this up – it’s a direction we’re exploring. Check out Copilot Voice for a little more information. You can already use any voice-to-text input method to ask Copilot chat for Visual Studio questions too – for instance voice typing on Windows.

      Thanks
      Mark

  • tpinbox 0

    Hi Mark,
    Can GitHub Copilot Chat trace the root cause of an error in one file to its origin in another file within the same repository?

    For example, let’s say I have an example_app repository with the following directory structure:

    example_app (root repository)
    |
    ├── src (project directory)
    │   └── file_01.py
    ├── controler (project directory)
    │   └── file_02.py
    └── router (project directory)
        └── file_03.py

    In file_01.py, which is located in the src project directory within the example_app root repository, I import functions from file_02.py and file_03.py, which are located in the controler and router project directories, respectively. If I encounter a bug while implementing a feature in file_01.py that is caused by a function in either file_02.py or file_03.py; Will GitHub Copilot Chat be able to identify that the error originates from one of those files and not just show the part of `file_01.py` that is producing the error?”

    I would try this myself but I don’t have access to the beta that’s why I’m asking

  • James Schwarzmeier 0

    This is exciting! I have two questions:

    1) Our organization uses Azure DevOps. I know this is a GitHub-based technology, but I also know that the behind-the-scenes GitHub and Azure DevOps share some of the same services and technologies (e.g. pipelines). Will there be any consideration to allow DevOps customers to make use of this as well?

    2) If we make use of this, will our source code be used as training data? In other words, that is the risk that proprietary information could be leaked outside our organization?

    Best,
    James

    • Mark Wilson-ThomasMicrosoft employee 1

      Hi James

      1. There is no restriction on the source control approach you choose to use when working with GitHub Copilot chat (and the same applies to GitHub Copilot’s current in market offering) – so you’ll be fine using it wherever you choose to keep your source code.

      2. GitHub Copilot chat operates on the same privacy principles as today’s in-market Copilot features. GitHub follows responsible practices in accordance with our Privacy Statement to ensure that your code snippets will not be used as suggested code for other users of GitHub Copilot.

      See https://github.com/features/copilot/ under “Privacy” for the Copilot version you have (for Business or for Individuals).

      Full details are in the Privacy Statement or the Copilot for Business Privacy Statement

      Hope that helps
      Mark

  • Graham Glover 1

    This is fantastic Mark. I have increasingly found Chat-GPT critical to programming so have been going about implementing a VS 2022 extension… until I saw this. I am on the waitlist but when will it realistically become available? Are we talking weeks or months?

    • Mark Wilson-ThomasMicrosoft employee 1

      Glad you like what you see.

      I’m afraid we can’t comment on timelines for availability yet. Sorry!

  • SEUNGYONG SHIM 1

    Can’t waiting!!

  • Juraj M. 0

    I really hope this is coming to the Webstorm as well (:

  • 建国 何 0

    I have been waiting for the chat feature provided in Visual Studio for GitHub Copilot. I am currently a subscriber to GitHub Copilot (for one year) and I am already on the waiting list. I hope to use it as soon as possible. thank you

  • Qingxiang WangMicrosoft employee 0

    Hi, Mark, I get approved for the preview, and I have installed in VS Code. How can I install in VS 2022?
    Thanks a lot!

    • Mark Wilson-ThomasMicrosoft employee 1

      Please reach out to me directly on mwthomas at microsoft dot com.

      Thanks
      Mark

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