Visual Studio Codespaces is consolidating into GitHub Codespaces

Allison Buchholtz-Au

Allison

At the last Ignite, we announced the public preview of Visual Studio Codespaces and shared our vision for cloud-powered development environments that would enable developers to work from anywhere and on any platform. Since then, we’ve seen incredible validation and excitement about codespaces and the scenarios they enable. We’ve also shipped dozens of enhancements, adjusted to better align with your expectations, and amassed feedback to help inform our roadmap. A key piece of this roadmap was partnering with our friends at GitHub to provide a native experience using the same service that powers Visual Studio Codespaces. Today, we’d like to share some news regarding this partnership: Visual Studio Codespaces will be consolidating into GitHub Codespaces.

If you’re an existing Visual Studio Codespaces user, you can start your transition to GitHub Codespaces now and the current Azure offering will be retired in February 2021.

Why is the service moving?

During the preview we’ve learned that transitioning from a repository to a codespace is the most critical piece of your workflow and the vast majority of you preferred a richly integrated, native, one-click experience. Since GitHub is the home of 50M developers, it made sense to partner with them to address this feedback. However, after the GitHub-native experience was released, we started hearing that the two distinct experiences were causing confusion amongst our users.

We believe that by consolidating the current Codespaces experiences into one, we can eliminate confusion, simplify the experience for everyone, and make more rapid progress to address customer feedback.

What does this mean for users in the public preview?

For current users, we encourage you to migrate to GitHub Codespaces with us. Since GitHub Codespaces is still in a limited public beta, we will be working to get you added to the beta as quickly as possible. The next time you connect to a codespace through the portal or Visual Studio Code, we’ll prompt you to submit the preferred GitHub account you’d like to be added to the beta. Every Azure subscription owner with a Visual Studio Codespaces plan will also receive an email requesting their preferred GitHub account.

While GitHub Codespaces provides an optimized creation experience for GitHub repositories, you can still utilize Git repositories hosted elsewhere (e.g Azure Repos, Bitbucket) with a few extra configuration steps. Check out our FAQs for more details.

What does this mean for users in the private preview?

The private preview of Visual Studio 2019 support for Windows-based Codespaces will also move to GitHub. Users currently in the private preview will be invited to continue the private preview on GitHub as soon as it’s available in the next few weeks. All new users accepted to try Windows Codespaces and Visual Studio will onboard directly to the private preview on GitHub. Stay tuned for more details.

What happens next?

We want to ensure you have ample time to migrate so existing users can continue accessing your codespaces via the current portal beyond the start of GitHub general availability.

Here’s a short summary of our timeline:

  • September 4, 2020 – Current users can begin transitioning to the GitHub private beta.
  • November 20, 2020 – Creation of new plans and codespaces will be disabled, although existing codespaces may continue to be used. New users will only be able to sign up for Codespaces on GitHub.
  • February 17, 2021 – The Visual Studio Codespaces portal will be retired. All plans and codespaces remaining in the service will be deleted.

Is everything from the Visual Studio service moving over?

As with all previews, we are constantly evaluating which features meet the bar for General Availability and the move to GitHub presents another point where we must consider what makes sense to bring forward. We welcome your feedback as we evaluate each feature’s future and will share decisions in our FAQs as they happen.

I just heard about Codespaces and want to try it out. What should I do?

We recommend requesting access to the GitHub Codespaces limited public beta.

 

Thank you for participating in the Visual Studio Codespaces Public Preview. You’ve provided valuable feedback as we iterated on the experience and we look forward to delivering a delightful experience in our new home on GitHub. Be sure to check out our FAQs for future updates and more details on transitioning to the GitHub service. Happy coding!

33 comments

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      • Avatar
        Daniel Gut

        too bad self hosting is not planned. it was the main selling point as we were able to utilize it in a firewalled environment.

        also the billing might be a bigger issue if we can‘t bill through azure subscriptions.

        • Avatar
          Lincoln Fernando da Silva Pires

          Totally agree. It was perfect for us because we could use our Azure subscriptions and it is not tight to GitHub or any other service. But it seems we’ll be creating our own solution again.

      • Avatar
        Lucas Liebenwein

        Wow, that’s so disappointing that self-hosted codespaces are not included in the roadmap. I loved the vso CLI to set it up remotely. This will turn my entire COVID-19 home office setup upside down 🙁

        It was the main selling point for me to use codespaces in the first place. Especially since I host my codespace on my GPU machine so paying for that via Azure would be too expensive.

        Maybe the feature instead could be a separate extension for vscode? It does kind of feel like an odd fit to include it in GitHub Codespaces.

      • Avatar
        Marcus Orciuch

        Why kill something that works so well? PLEASE give us something to continue working with self-hosted codespaces as Visual Studio Codespaces is being phased out, preferably something that can run by itself and can later be integrated with Github Codespaces.

      • Avatar
        Jacob Danovitch

        That’s incredibly disappointing that self-hosting isn’t planned, it was the main calling card to me. I don’t want to have some VMs in Codespaces and everything else in the VS Code SSH extension, so I’ll likely just use the latter going forward.

      • Avatar
        Roger Platt

        Everything we do uses SSO through Azure AD including Codespaces and DevOps allowing us to control those environments through Azure. The codespaces are also integrated with our Azure environment as soon as they are set up. How will this be handled in GitHub? Do our corporate users have to create a personal GitHub account that we have no control over be be able to use codespaces in GitHub? This seems like a massive security concern. Are there some plans at go-live to integrate a corporate Azure AD account to log in to GitHub?

        In the following doc, it is mentioned that “During the beta, private repositories owned by organizations or any repositories owned by an organization that requires SAML single sign-on are not supported.”

        Does this mean that is will be supported after it is out of beta?

        https://docs.github.com/en/github/developing-online-with-codespaces/about-codespaces

        Maybe all of these questions will be answered at Ignite next week. Time to go search the events I suppose.

      • Avatar
        Max Baines

        HI Jonathan,

        First thanks to all of you for setting up Github Codespaces so quickly.

        Wanted to +1 the request for self hosting, its such a good solution be a real shame to see it go completely.

        Works really well on the Surface pro X

  • Avatar
    Bjego

    Hmm not sure about this change either. Many slow decision makers, had trouble to understand Visual Studio Codespaces and now renaming it to GitHub makes it even worse. Those decision makers at least knew “Visual Studio”, but GitHub is just “OpenSource”-Codehosting for them. This makes the argumentation for the renamed service much harder… Not sure, if you could badge it as Azure hosted, at least this is a well known and trusted cloud provider in our company…

      • Avatar
        Alex Wolf

        Hello, I have been trying to migrate my Visual Studio Codespaces account to the Github Codespaces beta with no luck – any advice on how to go about this process? So far I have only seen a couple vague emails or blog posts about this that claim we can “begin migrating now” but so far I have not found a way to access Github Codespaces. I did click on the prompt you mentioned, but it just sent me to a generic access request page. After filling it out I received an email without any specific timelines, and when I emailed Github about it they said there is no public roadmap for the product. Any way I can get help getting access to the beta? I’m using Codespaces for a few projects and would really like access.

          • Avatar
            Alex Wolf

            Hey Allison – thanks for responding. I read the FAQs and I get the pop up prompt in VS Code when I connect to Codespaces, but the prompt just takes me to a survey to fill out. I entered in my information but I still haven’t been given access to Github Codespaces. Is there someone I can reach out to for assitance? I’m worried my account isn’t configured properly or something – I’m using Codespaces for some important projects and I’ve had a hard time figuring out how to get into the beta. Thanks again.

          • Allison Buchholtz-Au
            Allison Buchholtz-AuMicrosoft employee

            Hi Alex,
            I just checked on our side and I see you’ve successfully submitted the survey. There is generally a few days of lead time between submitting that form and getting access to the beta but everything looks good from my side. Hang tight as we work through adding the next set of users this week. We appreciate your patience and hope you get you up and running with the GitHub beta shortly!

      • Avatar
        anonymous

        I have done everything. I even downloaded a copy of vs code to get the toast message. I was prompted to fill out the survey from surveymonkey. which I did. Now its been a few days.

        I’m still waiting did I do something wrong? Moving to Github would really streamline things for me. Thanks in advance.

  • Avatar
    Rod Falanga

    I was at Ignite 2019 where I learned of Visual Studio Codespaces. At the time it was in preview, so I didn’t sign up for it. I was very excited about that, but I’ll admit that as time went by, I forgot about it.

    The news that Microsoft is going to migrate their VS Codespaces to GitHub Codespaces both interests me and causes me concern. As an individual, I welcome it. But where I work, they are adamantly committed to TFVC. VS Codespaces, I thought, allowed for TFVC as well as Git. GitHub Codespaces I’m sure will only allow Git.

    So, would I be correct in thinking that those companies which only use TFVC will not be able to use GitHub Codespaces?

  • Avatar
    Simon Soanes

    Azure DevOps is a strong ALM platform while Github is only a Git repo with some weak issue tracking and cut down pipeline capability right now.

    It feels unwise to move this feature before improving the other capabilities of Github to provide at least basic parity first.

    When this becomes pay for will I be able to use my MSDN/visual studio subscription to fund it like I can with Visual Studio Codespaces and Azure Devops?